Monday, August 25, 2014

Chic & Green's comprehensive list of ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Today, I'd like to go over some of the ingredients to avoid while pregnant.  Since over 60% of what we apply to our skin gets absorbed into our bloodstream, what expectant moms use is really very important.

I remember being concerned about what to eat (or not to eat) while I was pregnant. As much as I love soft cheeses and coffee, I eliminated them from my diet from the get go. I was careful about skin care, but there is just so much more info these days.

Ingredients to Avoid While Pregnant

As wonderful as essential oils are, some really need to be avoided while pregnant. As someone who studied aromatherapy extensively, this can be a tricky subject because there ARE so many benefits of essential oils, but there still is research out there suggesting many should be avoided, so I woul err on the side of caution, especially during the crucial first trimester.

Here is a great link from the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists. They, in fact, recommend avoiding all essential oils during the first trimester and I do agree with this.

Essential Oils to Avoid in Pregnancy (source)
•    Arnica (homeopathic is fine)
•    Basil
•    Birch (sweet)
•    Bitter almond
•    Boldo leaf
•    Broom
•    Buchu
•    Calamus
•    Camphor (brown or yellow)
•    Cassia
•    Cedarwood/thuja
•    Chervil
•    Cinnamon
•    Clary sage
•    Clove (bud, leaf or stem)
•    Coriander
•    Costus
•    Deertongue
•    Elecampane
•    Fennel
•    Horseradish
•    Hyssop
•    Jaborandi leaf
•    Juniper berry
•    Melilotus
•    Mugwort
•    Mustard
•    Nutmeg
•    Origanum
•    Parsley (large doses)
•    Pennyroyal
•    Pine (dwarf)
•    Rosemary
•    Rue
•    Sassafras
•    Savin
•    Savory (summer)
•    Tansy
•    Thyme red (large doses)
•    Tonka
•    Wintergreen
•    Wormwood

Other Ingredients:

Neem Oil -- Neem has been shown to cause damage to the forming kidneys of babies in the womb.

Tea Tree Oil -- In pregnancy, this has been linked to hormonal issues and abnormal development in boys.

Oxybenzone -- This is found in many different sunscreens.  In pregnancy, this ingredient has been shown to cause hormonal issues.

Nanoparticles  -- The more and more I study nanoparticle technology, the more concerned I become. There needs to be more regulation of this one. In pregnancy, I recommend that you err on the side of caution.  In a 2011 study, research revealed that nanoparticles caused pregnancy complications in mice. (source). These are found in titanium dioxide and zinc oxide--opt for pressed powder makeups over loose. Nanoparticles in loose minerals are much easier to inhale and have dispersed in the air. You will also find nanoparticles in some sunscreens.

Salicylic Acid -- Also called BHA or beta hydroxy acid, this is a wonderful oil soluble ingredient to get deep into the pores, help ease inflammation and for the treatment of acne-- unless you are pregnant. Since this ingredient is in the aspirin family, it needs to be avoided. 

Oral salicylins (like aspirin) have been shown to cause birth defects and increase bleeding problems. While there aren't concrete studies yet on topical salicylic acid in pregnancy, since we know there are great risks taking the oral form, these need to be avoided in skin care. You will also want to avoid white willow bark while pregnant. This is a natural form of salicylic acid and is often found in organic and natural skin care products. (white willow bark source)

Retinoids -- Oral retinoids, such as Accutane, have been shown to cause birth defects. While less is known concerning topical forms of vitamin A, it is recommended by the experts to avoid them while pregnant. Look for these names on labels--
Differin (adapelene)
Retin-A, Renova (tretinoin)
Retinoic acid
Retinyl linoleate
Retinyl palmitate
Tazorac and Avage (Tazarotene)

Phthalates -- No one should be using phthalates, but they may be especially harmful for pregnant women.  In 2005, there was a study conducted at the University of Rochester by Dr. Shanna Swan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, showing a "significant relationship" to the presence of higher quantities of phthalates present in a pregnant woman's body and changes/altered genitals of boy babies. (source)

Phthalates are often components of artificial fragrances and in many nail polishes. Look for DBP or dibutyl phathalate on the label. Unfortuntately, this is not legally required on labels when it is in fragrance. Avoid artificial fragrances.

Formaldehyde Releasers -- Look on your labels for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quaternium-15. These all release formaldehyde. These have been linked to cancer, as well as having neurotoxic effects. The worst thing you can do -- get a Brazilian Blowout. These contain around 10% formaldehyde and are carcinogenic. No one should get one of these, especially pregnant women. Formaldehyde is a KNOWN carcinogen--in other words, it has been proven to cause cancer. It is not worth the chance to you or your unborn baby.

Parabens -- Again, this is on our list of ingredient to avoid for everyone, not just pregnant women. Some people think parabens are OK--that there isn't enough research out there to call them a real health threat. I think that can finally be put to rest now with the most recently published study:

In the September 1, 2011 edition of Carcinogenesis, researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center released their findings showing that both BPA and Methylparaben at even low concentrations found in humans have negative health consequences such as an increased breast cancer risk. 

It also went on to mention the ever-increasing male breast cancer rate, which is another alarming trend. These findings are quite similar to an older study on parabens from about 10 years ago.  In this compelling study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology,  parabens were linked to breast cancer as they have shown to be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth.

I am the mother of boys. What really made me take notice of this issue was a July 2002 article in the Archives of Toxicology. According to Dr. S. Oishi of the Department of Toxicology, Tokyo Metropolitan Research Laboratory of Public Health, exposure of newborn male mammals to butylparaben “adversely affects the secretion of testosterone and the function of the male reproductive system.”

Being pregnant is a wonderful journey. Don't stress over the little things. Enjoy it -- and be healthy.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My thoughts on the Jamberry opportunity

I try to keep my "work life" separate from blogging, except when I am sharing pictures of beautiful nail wraps and lacquer. I know that so many of you are moms or are interested in better beauty products and would love to have extra money to spend on makeup and skin care.

jamberry opportunity, jamberry nails, jamberry consultant

One year ago, I joined Jamberry Nails. The company's PR firm sent me several different holiday wraps in 2012 to review for Chic & Green and I loved them right off the bat. Here is my initial Jamberry Nails review.

When the PR firm sent me more wraps for the 4th of July 2013, I couldn't stop thinking about them. One August night last summer, Tom was out with the neighbor guys playing poker and I was browsing the Jamberry website looking at hundreds of beautiful designs available in their nail wraps. I decided, on nothing more than a whim, to join the company. I planned to join to get the great contents in the consultant kit and get a discount on the products. At best, I could make a few extra dollars.

That changed with the instant success I found selling to friends and THEIR friends when I announced my launch on Facebook September 6th. People were so excited about the wraps, loved the products and were booking online parties. I have people asking me about the Jamberry opportunity and before I knew it, I had a small team within weeks.

I have since promoted several times and have a team of 95 women all across the USA.

I operate my business through Facebook. A party can be done virtually over 45 minutes or so on a weeknight, or it can be done over the course of a couple weeks. People LOVE this concept because they can sit in their pajamas, be the host, and collect all the amazing free and half price items that they are able to earn through the generous hostess rewards program.

This opportunity has been life changing. Last October, we withdrew our older son from his middle school after he was assaulted by an older student. We knew that homeschooling was what we would be doing for the remainder of the school year, but that it was only temporary. We wanted to send him to a fabulous local private school, but tuition is about what college tuition was back when I was in college-- and since I was homeschooling, I had to cut back on my freelance writing work. My "little hobby" has grown to the point where it is sending him to this school beginning in less than 2 weeks.

In addition to that amazing education opportunity, I have made some dear friends whom I would never have met if not from Jamberry. True gifts...

Being a Jamberry independent consultant (I am a Team Manager) is really an opportunity I am so glad I decided to take advantage of. I have a really fabulous upline. In fact, she was #1 in sales for all of the company! The people at the Home Office really care and listen to the needs and requests of the consultant force -- and this is something that can be so rare.

It is not hard to sell the products. Why? I wear them daily! I always have my nails done--always have. People ask me about my nails on a daily basis, whether it's in line at Wegmans, at the bank, karate -- even while washing my hands in a restaurant bathroom! YOU are your best form of marketing simply by wearing them.

These are products with a conscience. Jamberry wraps are vegan, gluten free, formaldehyde free and paraben free. They are proudly made in the USA and are cruelty free.

Oops, did I forget to mention the two Fs? FUN and FLEXIBILITY -- both are hallmarks of this opportunity! I can work my business in the evening only, if that is what works for me. Others work it around full-time jobs. Some do weekends only. You can tailor this to YOUR LIFE....and have fun doing it!

There is so much press lately, too, around the products. Our Professional Nail Lacquer won the Self Magazine Healthy Beauty Award for Best Nail Polish. The lacquer was featured in the July 2014 InStyle and in Health Magazine. Our wraps were featured on the Today Show earlier this summer, too. Us Weekly, People, People Style Watch and Marie Claire are just a few of our other mentions.

Our Fall/Winter catalog launches September 1st and we will be having so many gorgeous designs and colors. This is such an incredible time to join because Jamberry is offering a 50% kit credit! You can earn back half the cost of your consultant kit when you join in August! I would absolutely love to talk with you more about Jamberry Nails and what it is like to have your own Jamberry business. I have an amazing team and we'd love for you to join us!

If you have any questions, email me and I am happy to answer them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Etsy Love: Firefly Fields Soap and Candleworks

Hello friends, I do apologize for this three week hiatus in posting! Vacation, kid stuff & my super fast growing Jamberry team have been keeping me very busy. We had an amazing trip to Boston and Mystic, CT, also spending some time in Maine and New Hampshire. It was a really lovely trip!

I am back today to tell you about an Etsy shop --- not just any Etsy shop -- but one that is owned by long-time Chic & Green reader, Erin Raymer.

Erin owns Firefly Fields Soap and Candleworks, which features cold process soaps handmade in small batches. Her bars are 100% vegan and the essential oils she uses are from doTERRA. She does offer some palm oil free varieties, which is very important to so many of us do not use soaps with this ingredient.

In addition to handcrafted natural soaps, Erin makes 100% natural soy candles and tarts made with phthalate-free fragrance oils.

And check this out-- there is a SPECIAL right now in Erin's shop. When you buy 3 bars, you will get 1 free. Click this link to get the deal.

Be sure to follow Firefly Fields Soap and Candleworks on Facebook.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Beauty Monday: 5 minute makeup

The long task of growing out my hair from my pixie of 2 summers ago is going pretty well. It's at the point I can put it up in a short pony tail. It's great for days when I do not feel like blow drying this thick mop and spending a long time flat ironing it to make it smooth and straight. I work from home, so I do not have to spend time getting pulled together, but I just do. I love makeup and still want to look my best whether I am "bumming" around the house or out for a date with my husband. You can be pulled together without spending much time, though!

What am I wearing here?

Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer
Jane Iredale Amazing Base SPF 20 in Light Beige
Au Naturale Creme Concealer in Beige
Prescriptives Colorscope Lipstick in Champagne
Jane Iredale Pure Gloss in Beach Plum
Organic Wear Jumbo Lash Mascara in Black
NVEY ECO blush in Blushing Peach
Everyday Minerals  Pearl Finishing Dust

Oooh, and I changed my manicure just in time for Mani Monday!

Even though Kermit the Frog says "It's not easy being green," I will respectfully disagree. I am wearing Jamberry Nails Professional Nail Lacquer in Mermaid, which is from the limited-edition summer collection called Poolside Glow. Over it is the Jamberry Glitter Effect Top Coat. I didn't want it too glittery, so I applied a very light layer of this under the Ultra Shine Top Coat. What do you think? Love it or leave it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Jamberry Nail Art Studio Creation! Get Yours Today!

I love all things nautical. And in preparation for our upcoming New England vacation, I used the Jamberry Nails Nail Art Studio to custom design my own nail wraps!

Using my three favorite colors of navy blue, robin's egg blue and fuchsia, I created nail wrap sheets using anchors and whales. Each sheet is good for three to four applications. The best part? They last up to two weeks on fingers and even longer on toes.

Get yours today by emailing me HERE. I am placing orders for this one Friday, July 25th.

Jamberry Nails are heat and pressure activated nail wraps. Not to be confused with stickers, they are not made out of nail polish, so they will never chip or fade! NO dry time. They are gluten-free, vegan and cruelty free.

I adore these and can't wait to get more! Free gift with all Nail Art Studio orders!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tips on minimizing dark circles under the eyes

Dark circles under the eyes are something many women find frustrating. If you ask almost any sleep-deprived college student or mother of small children what bothers her the most about her skin, she will tell you that it is her dark undereye circles. Sleep deprivation is only one cause of dark circles, though.

Having dark circles under the eyes is actually a very common problem. We’re going to take a look at some of the causes of dark undereye circles and share some beauty tips and tricks that may just help eliminate the problem.
We mentioned sleep deprivation earlier. If you are chronically tired, you are more likely to suffer from dark circles. Other causes include seasonal allergies such as hay fever, having very fair skin, dehydration, anemia, and sun exposure. More serious health issues causing fluid retention also can contribute to the appearance of dark undereye circles.
Taking a two-step approach using both skincare and makeup products is necessary for treating dark circles.
Look for an eye cream with Vitamin K as a leading ingredient. Vitamin K is often recommended because it can help to fade the dark color and reduce the puffiness that is often associated with dark undereye circles.
Vitamin C also can have a brightening effect.
Retinol is also recommended because it not only has the ability to help with the discoloration, but it also can help reduce the dryness.
Hyaluronic Acid and Amino Acids are also recommended for dark circles because they have been shown to boost levels of collagen which takes away from that “hollow” look under the eyes that so many people with dark circles suffer from.
Years ago, the top recommendation for covering dark circles was to find a yellow concealer. We now know that this actually accentuates the problem. Avoid the thick yellow concealers. I think back to my college days when I would purchase the yellow wand concealer from Lancome, Maqui Complet, to conceal my circles caused by too little sleep. In reality, this only accentuated the problem.
  • Finding an undereye concealer with brightening properties is the best solution.
  •  You also want it to be a shade very similar to your skin tone. If it is lighter, it will only give the appearance of a light ring around the eyes. 
  • Products labeled “luminizing”, “brightening” or “light diffusing” work best to conceal dark circles.
  • Brush-on and roll-on concealers are the best formulas for dark circles because they apply seamlessly and will not accentuate darkness.
  • Apply damp mint leaves to the undereye area to soothe dryness or puffiness.
  • You can also apply tomato paste to the undereye area helps to increase brightness in the skin, which may help improve the darkness.
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Not only is this good for your health, but it can help to fade the dark circles since you won’t be dehydrated.
Products I have tried and tested -- and recommend -- for dark circles:

Prescriptives Vibrant C Eye Cream
Au Naturale Creme Concealer

Monday, July 7, 2014


Lollapalooza creator and front man for the legendary rock band Jane’s Addiction Perry Farrell has teamed-up with Maestro Dobel Tequila to offer music fans the chance to win a rockin’ VIP experience for two to Lollapalooza in Chicago, August 1-3.

It’s easy to enter the promotion, all you have to do is visit the Dobel Tequila website and sign-up. Maestro Dobel Tequila is also adding a bit of cutting edge technology for the promotion this year called Platform3 from Vancouver-based 3 Tier Logic. Platform3 gives you the opportunity to earn rewards points that can be redeemed for additional prizes.

The additional prizes include extra entries into the sweepstakes, another rockin’ VIP experience for two to Lollapalooza, a Sony A 3000 Digital Camera Package, Apple iPod Shuffles and Nanos, and iTunes Gift cards .

To earn points you share content that is available for you on the Dobel Tequila site on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. Each piece of content has points assigned to it and Platform3 keeps track of your points, which you can monitor on the site as well. On the micro-site you can see how many points are required to earn each prize and you can redeem the prizes right there on the site. When you redeem the prizes they are mailed to you.

Maestro Dobel Tequila is pouring-on a premium promotion this year with their sweepstakes and rewards program, for sure.

There will be lots of news about it on the Dobel Tequila Facebook page and on Twitter at @dobeltequila, so make sure to stop by, or visit their experience at Lollapalooza.

Handmade bracelets you will LOVE!

I love bracelets. LOVE them. I wear a stack of at least ten Alex and Ani bangles daily and sometimes through in other coordinating pieces too.

My friend and local talent, Sheryn Kelderhouse of The Happy Life, is making bracelets and I just had to put one on my arm! In her online shop, you will find an array of bracelets with different mantras on them. Examples include "Walk your talk", "March to the beat of your own drum," and more.

She also offers customization. As you can see, my bracelet has my children's names on it. Although not shown in the picture, their birthstones dangle from the left.

Please do check out her shop! I know that I am going to get some more of these to give away as prizes to women on my Jamberry team!

Follow Sheryn on Facebook.
Visit Sheryn's website.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

10 Minute Makeup Routine

So this is me about before I went to lunch with my friend Krista today. I just HAD to try out some new makeup from some of the great companies who have sent me beauty products to try out.

I really wanted to play around and take a pic because some of my new finds REALLY are fabulous!

I started off this morning by washing my face with ZENMED Facial Cleansing Gel, Thayer's Alcohol Free Cucumber Witch Hazel, and Prescriptives All You Need+ for the Eyes. As a final skincare step, I applied ZENMED AVT Cream.

I waited a moment and put on Laura Mercier Oil Free Foundation Primer, let it sink in while I brushed my teeth and was ready to begin! Confession-- yes, I know this is not green, nor is it considered a healthy and natural product. It is my own makeup weakness. I just love it. If you are 100% paraben free, do not purchase this.

I would like to say this about the next product --  I haven't used powder foundations in a while, but I was sent a product to try that I absolutely adore. Like other minerals, it does not irritate my skin. This one is called Mineral Hygienics and it is a loose powder foundation. I am wearing Medium. It doesn't cake, settle into any fine lines, sweat off when it is humid and 92. I apply this with my It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Foundation Brush. Just a very small amount is all you need and it gives a natural, healthy appearance.

Next, I applied my concealer. This one rocks my socks. Love it! It is the Au Naturale Creme Concealer and it blends so easily with my ring finger. I am not exaggerating when I say that this one blows away the competition. I used to think that Vapour was the best natural concealer. I was wrong. Trust me -- you have to have this for your dark circles and any skin discolorations. BEST CONCEALER on earth. Au Naturale is non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan, paraben-free, non-nano, and made in America in a USDA certified organic facility.

I then applied my staple eye shadow-- the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette.

Next up: mascara. Forever on the quest for that holy grail mascara, I have found one that is paraben free, non-irritating AND will not melt off on a hot and humid day. This one is Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara. Truly the best!

Bronzer! It can be so hard to find a bronzer that doesn't make me look like an Ooma Loompa. I was using W3LL People and used it until it was gone. I have a new one I LOVE and as ong as your skin is normal/dry like mine, I think you will adore it as well. It is also a product from Au Naturale and it is called the Organic Creme Bronzer Stick. Just a swipe across the cheekbones and a quick blend with clean fingertips is all you need!

Brows were next! I use Silk Naturals Brow Medium Ash Brow Cream. A pot of this is just $6.50 and lasts almost an entire YEAR!

Hair color touched up -- it is $3.50 or so! Revlon Colorsilk Champagne Blonde. I also add in a couple streaks of Revlon Frost & Glow in the Light Blonde Kit for highlights. My hair also feels so much healthier since -- gasp -- returning to a shampoo with sulfates. It is SO much easier to style. I am using Biolage Volume Bloom Shampoo and alternating with John Frieda Sheer Blonde Everlasting Blonde Shampoo.

To condition, I use Featherweight from Original Moxie.

Styling-wise, I start with Redken Prepping Blow Dry Lotion, then I blow dry my hair. I apply some Redken Hot Sets Thermal Setting Mist and to finish, add shine with Matrix Biolage Color Care Shine Shake. All were purchased on the Buy 1, Get 2 Free at Supercuts.

And I LOVE the lip colors! Lipstick and gloss are both Au Naturale! And I adore them. Now when you go to the website and see this lipstick, do NOT panic. It looks VERY bright purple, but does not actually appear this way on the lips. What a beautiful lipstick and it feels divine. Some lipsticks tug across the lips and make them feel dry. Not this one. And, again, Au Naturale is non-toxic, gluten-free, vegan, paraben-free, non-nano, and made in America in a USDA certified organic facility.

Over the lipstick, I applied Au Naturale Lip Gloss in a shade called Orchid. Great on its own or layers, this is my new go-to lip gloss!

Lastly, I used a large powder brush to sweep my powder sunscreen across my face. It is called Jane Iredale Powder Me SPF 30 in Golden. This provides broad spectrum protection and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

So that's the summer routine. I will be back soon for an more in depth review of the rest of my fabulous Au Naturale products!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Get the glow with *Magic Liquid Powder from Prescriptives

I will never forget my introduction to *magic Liquid Powder from Prescriptives. I was in my 20s working as a makeup artist at Estee Lauder at the Eastview Mall Kaufmann's store. On my lunch break, I wandered over to visit my friend at the Prescriptives counter, which was located by the women's fragrances. I thought she might be ready to head to the food court, but she was busy unpacking a box of the latest Prescriptives release -- *magic Liquid Powder.

I remember her telling me about it and then she offered to let me try some. I almost laughed at the idea that a powder could be a liquid. I mean, it looked just like regular old loose powder to me.

When I felt it applied with a brush, I was in awe. It felt like liquid. And when I looked in the mirror, my face was absolutely radiant. I bought my first jar.

Now, almost 15 years later, I am still using it. There were years I did not. But there really was never anything out there that was the same concept.

I use a kabuki brush and sweep it over my face. It diffuses fine lines and just adds a very subtle glow. In fact, you know how I cannot stand when companies make claims that don't deliver. On the Prescriptives website it says "Instantly cools and diffuses light to minimize the look of lines, pores, and wrinkles" and it truly does this. I loved it at 24 and I love it at almost 39.

I can't imagine not using it again.

Do not let the $39.50 deter you. My *magic lasts me a full year! It is lightweight, non-caking, paraben free, free of formaldehyde releasers, and has a truly luxurious feel.

No wonder 97% of users on the Prescriptives site recommend it!

You order online with free shipping and free returns every single day. No gimmicks.

Have you tried *magic before? What were your thoughts?

Disclosure - I am a Prescriptives Passionista, which is a non-compensated brand ambassador who just loves the products! All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Jamberry is the best nail polish ever

Yes, I may be partial. I am a Jamberry Independent Team Manager. But if you've been reading this blog these last seven years, you will know that I *do not ever* recommend a product I don't love. I don't.

When I used to work for Estee Lauder back in my 20's, I refused to recommend Splash Away cleanser because I thought it was terrible. I just couldn't bring myself to tell people they needed it. Instead, I would refer them to my friend Diana over at Lancome to get the Clarifiance. Right or wrong, I just couldn't promote something I knew was not any good. It's always been that way.

So when I tell you that Jamberry Nail Lacquer is special, know that I am speaking from my heart.

I have tried so many brands of 5 free nail polish over the years. I have used "healthy" water-based polishes and expensive French brands sold in department stores. When Jamberry launched their lacquer in the fall, I admit that I was skeptical.

I joined Jamberry because I adore the nail wraps. They are so much fun and I love the nearly 400 designs offered. After trying the Professional Nail Lacquer, though, I can tell you that it far surpasses the quality of Chanel and salon brands I have used.

There is virtually no odor. The brush doesn't shed. It is opaque and applies beautifully. There are so many stunning colors.

You know I go a bit crazy painting the walls in my house. I like to use a high quality paint and will splurge on brushes because it makes the job easier and the results look much better. Think of this nail lacquer as that special, high quality paint at the home improvement stores that you'll pay a bit more for, but that will deliver much better results. THAT is how this lacquer is.

There has been so much good press for the product lately, that it's be silly for me not to share.

You will find my favorite Jamberry lacquer, Hint of Mint, in the July issue of InStyle.

A few weeks back, Self magazine chose Jamberry as the best nail polish in their annual Healthy Beauty Awards.

Before that, but also this spring, Health magazine recommended our glittery top coat!

Get yours on my website today. If you order, email me at karleyjams [at] to let me know you're a C & G reader and I will give you a special gift as a thank you for being a reader and customer.

Monday, June 9, 2014

A cure for Keratosis Pilaris?

I've spoken before about my personal love-hate relationship with my skin. I have great skin. It's clear and it's healthy and is in very good condition for being in my late 30's. The problem? My upper arms. Since I was 25, I have battled with a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris.

Some call it chicken skin.

I call it embarrassing. This common skin condition is often genetic (my son has it) and is caused by an excess of keratin.

Keratin builds up without a place to go, essentially, and ends of plugging the hair follicles. When this happens, red bumps that are rough and scaly form. It ends up looking a bit like a red rash.

Over the years, I've tried prescription creams, the stinky (like ammonia!) and chemical-laden lotion called AmLactin and have purchased products over the years from Bliss, Paula's Choice, DermaDoctor and more. Coconut oil actually worked the best over those. After years of searching, however, I have finally found that one product that I do believe is going to cure my KP.

I started using ZENMED AHA/BHA Complex on my face in March. It is a phenomenal product and really exfoliates my skin. Knowing that this combination is such a powerhouse against Keratosis Pilaris and is recommended by dermatologists, I decided I would start using this product on my upper arms.

I have done so every other day now since April. Friends, my KP has diminished greatly and I can tell you that it is at least 75% gone and improving each week.

Our skin really can impact our self esteem. Over the years, I have spoken to countless women whose acne, Rosacea and other skin issues have negatively impacted their mental well being. I know that I have gone to great lengths over the years to try to hide my Keratosis Pilaris -- from arm and leg makeup from M.A.C. to Dermablend and more. Additionally, I used to avoid tank tops and sleeveless items even in July because this made me so self conscious.

Is it completely erased? No, not yet. I have seen a marked improvement, though, and look forward to the day when my skin is completely free of the KP. Thanks to ZENMED AHA/BHA Complex, I am very hopeful that this will actually happen one day in the near future.


ZENMED AHA/BHA Complex is vegan friendly, made in the USA, paraben free, fragrance free and doctor-formulated.

Why it works:

AHA helps slough away dead skin cells, revealing a fresh and smooth complexion The bumpy texture diminished. BHA is oil soluble and can penetrate the pores, so it is able to unblock the pores. These two ingredients work well together to treat Keratosis Pilaris. I am so thankful to be using this fabulous product. If you are suffering from KP and feel like you've tried it all, I highly recommend this product from ZENMED. It is gentle enough on my sensitive skin, but still potent enough to show results.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Jane Iredale Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion

New for a subtle golden glow: Jane Iredale Golden Shimmer

I have very fair skin. I wear sunless tanner all season long and bronzer is my friend this time of year. I am an avid sunscreen wearer, too, so I can avoid getting red like a lobster. This girl loves a healthy glow, though!

Not long ago, I decided to try Jane Iredale Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion.  You can wear it on the face and body on its own or for a summer shimmery tan, you can mix it with my go-to sunless tanner, Tantasia.

When I am not baring much skin, I wear it as is for its subtle radiance.

When I have bare arms and legs, I blend two parts Tantasia to one part Golden Shimmer for a natural looking tan with a hint of sheen. This is the way I actually prefer it. It just looks healthy, beachy and radiant.

A little goes a very long way. Do you see the picture down below below with the lotion squeezed onto my hand? That is the amount I use to do both arms. So this tube is going to last me a while!

You can wear this on your face, but it was too much sheen -- in my opinion. You may not feel the same way, so if you get this product, test it out on your face to see if you like it!

As always, Jane Iredale only uses paraben-free formulations with ingredients shown to truly benefit the skin. From aloe and Green Tea to radish and apple, there are so many fabulous ingredients in here!

Ingredients in Golden Shimmer Face and Body Lotion: Aqua/Water/Eau, Coconut Alkanes (And) Polysilicone 11, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Peg-10/15 Crosspolymer, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Root Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Pectin, Chlorella Vulgaris/Lupinus Albus Protein Ferment, Sambucus Nigra (Elder Flower) Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (And) Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (And) Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. [+/- (May Contain) Mica, Iron Oxides (Ci 77489, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Red 6 Lake (Ci 15850)(Aka 201)]

This is what the Jane Iredale Golden Shimmer looks like before it is blended into the skin.

After:  Just a subtle golden, healthier glow

Disclosure: I received this product at no cost for possible review. This is no way has impacted the review and all opinions are my own.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Join my team for a day!

What's so special about Jamberry?

Truthfully, joining has been life-changing.

When I signed up on a whim to become a Jamberry Nails consultant, I planned to be a casual seller--to just get a discount and maybe have a bit of commission along the way. I already was a fan of the products, having first tried them in 2012 for blog review and then again late last spring, also for this blog.

Now, a little more than 8 months later, I have earned my 6th promotion and am a Jamberry Team Manager with a growing consultant group of 39 women across 11 states. We work as a team, supporting & inspiring each other and it is our goal to conduct our businesses with integrity and passion.

In addition to forming lifelong friendships, my Jamberry business is affording our family the opportunity to send Nick to private school in September. Why is this so important to us? This is his story. I am so thankful for Jamberry!

Some of my consultants I have met through this blog. In fact, one of my readers from Missouri joined my team in March. I would love to share this opportunity with you. Some ladies on my team are doing this just for the social aspect. Others are saving for Disney. Some are paying off their cars early, making extra mortgage payments or are using their earnings for summer camps.

If you are curious, we have a 24 hours guest pass. You can see first hand how my team operates--get to know the other ladies, ask questions, and then determine if becoming a Jamberry consultant is right for you.

If you'd like a guest pass, email me here.

Oh, and just look at the May Sister's Style Exclusive. I LOVE this one--

To purchase, please visit

Friday, April 25, 2014

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Review

I first was introduced to Younique on a Facebook group for direct sales consultants. I repeatedly saw posts for this "all natural" mascara from multiple consultants. Claims ranging from "all-natural" and "100% natural" to "Vegan" and "opthamologist recommended" were being thrown out there.

When I saw the claims, I was curious. I asked a consultant for more info and she then offered to send me the "best selling mascara" for my blog at no cost to me.

A few days later, I had my Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes.

And then I saw the ingredients list.... While the list is far more "natural" than some other products, the product is far from "all natural" and is definitely not vegan, as it contains beeswax. The consultant force needs to be sure what they are saying is factual. I didn't mind that this was not all-natural, as you want proper preservation and a truly all natural product just can't provide that.

A couple weeks later, I decided to try my new "mascara" for the first time. First of all, this is a three-part process. And step one is RIDICULOUS, as you need to already have a mascara! You apply "your own regular favorite mascara" and let it dry. You then need to apply the "transplanting gel" and then quickly apply the "natural fibers". After that, you repeat the transplanting gel step.

The result? Sticky lashes that were slightly more voluminous, but only because they felt so sticky and coated. For $29, I was very sorely disappointed because there are SO many better products on the market. With the right mascara, there is simply NO need for all of these additional products. I have used far superior $9 drugstore mascaras. The product I was told is a mascara is not a mascara at all, nor does it serve a purpose. Used on its own was probably better than the whole three step deal, but this was still very unimpressive.


Transplanting Gel Ingredients: Water, Beeswax (Natural Propolis), Carnauba (Brazilian palm glue), Iron Oxide Cl 77499 (Black), Collagen, Acrylates Copolymer, Nylon, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol. .23 FL OZ / 7 ml

Natural Fibers Ingredients: 100% Natural Fibers taken from the Campanulaceae of Green Tea. Net WT .02 OZ/ .5g

The Chic & Green Bottom Line

Skip it. Mine was free and even if yours was as well, I cannot recommend this product. There are far better products on the market with better ingredients that will give you gorgeous lashes in ONE step for far less money and without irritation.

My recommendations-- Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara, Physicians Formula Organic Wear Mascara and Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes. All are FAR better in one application than this three step product.

Disclosure: This was sent to me at no cost for review. This has in no way influenced my write-up.