Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mascara Monday: Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara


I’ll be honest that, for as much as I’ve been concerned about the “cleanliness” of what goes in my body since going Paleo last year, I’ve been equally un-concerned about the cleanliness of my beauty products.  Yes, I know my skin is the largest organ in my body.  And yes, my irrational decision boils down pure vanity (coupled with a few epic fails when I’ve tried natural beauty products in the past).  Nevertheless, as clean, natural product offerings have expanded and improved, I’ve been intrigued to see how they measure up.

Enter the Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara.  It is touted as:

A highly effective and natural, argan oil treatment mascara that nourishes, lengthens, volumizes, lifts, and curls lashes for 24 hours.

And based on the folks at Think Dirty (I’ve become a bit addicted to their app, which rates products on the cleanliness of their component ingredients!), it ranks as a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (meaning it’s not going to kill me just for looking at it).

What I love:

  • It delivers on its promise to volumize with just one coat (great for busy mornings) while still being buildable for a more dramatic look.
  • The unique brush shape kept my lashes clump-free while still volumizing.
  • Surprisingly no smudging! I naturally assumed that having “oil” in the name would affect the wearability, but I was wrong.
  • It is Paraben-, Sulfate- and Phthalate-free.

What I don’t:

  • ? – honestly I don’t see a downside! Although, to be fair I need to give it a good test in July and see how it stands up to a muggy Georgia day.

Bottom line: an amazing easy-wear, day-to-night mascara that I don’t have to feel guilty about putting on! Officially in love!

I’m currently using a sample size from last year’s Sephora Lash Stash.  The full-size tube is available for $22 both at Sephora and directly from Josie Maran.

Weekend Lemonade

Weekend Lemonade

It’s Thursday and spring, which means I’m already dreaming of spending my weekend outside.  I get in the mood for lemonade as soon as the temperature is above 60 for more than about five minutes.  On a weekday, lemonade alone is treat enough (thanks to the sugar), but after surviving the week, I like to boost the indulgence level a little with this quick and easy “adult” variation.

Weekend Lemonade

(Serves 1)

  • 1oz Vodka (I prefer a Paleo-friendly variety, like Ciroc or Idol)
  • 1/2oz Gran Marnier or Gran Gala
  • Lemonade (freshly made if you’re ambitious, or your favorite store-bought variety if you’re falling over tired by the end of the week like yours truly – I like Simply Lemonade)
  • Ice

Place eight ice cubes in an Old Fashioned glass.  Measure and add Vodka and Gran Marnier.  Top with lemonade and stir. Cheers!

What’s your favorite weekend cocktail?

Review: The Eighty Twenty Magazine

8020 Vol 1

Apparently I’m not the only one who believes that refined tastes and real food are not mutually exclusive!

Have you met The Eighty Twenty?  The are, to quote their luscious website,

. . . an online magazine and community, built by and for women who lean toward the Paleo lifestyle. This site is for those who crave balance in all things. For the woman who knows what makes her feel better: more sweat, less complaining, more vegetables, less sugar, more fat, less grains, more books, less television, more fresh air, less desk jobs; the same woman who knows sometimes you just have to work late, skip the gym, eat the cookie, drink the second glass, sleep in, binge on Netflix, splurge on mascara.

It’s like they read my mind!

8020 quote

I discovered The Eighty Twenty through their gorgeous Instagram photos and was immediately in love.  Why? Because one of the things I’ve struggled with most on a personal level since adopting a Paleo nutritional approach last year is retaining space in my daily life for indulgences.  For “girly” things (which frequently don’t seem to prevail in the mainstream Paleo community).   I feel like these women are kindred spirits.  We both (in the words of Eighty Twenty editor Jenna) “have designed a life we are proud of, and a handful of vices that we can’t live without – or rather – can live with.”

Needless to say, I jumped on ordering the first edition of their magazine as soon as it was available and I’ve been delighted with the content!

8020 Sw Potato Gnocchi

The magazine is a balanced blend of four food recipes and three DIY beauty recipes, interspersed with personal stories and lifestyle features.  The recipes have a seasonal tone and for the winter include mouth-watering selections like Cider Squash Soup and Sweet Potato Gnocchi (which I can’t wait to make as soon as Lent is over – I gave up bacon – Egads!).  The personal stories are positive and inspiring, as well as sometimes humorous.  Sprinkled throughout are quick healthy lifestyle tips as well.

The only negative I see is with the price.  The print edition (which included a digital copy as well) at time of my purchase was $14.99 exclusive of taxes.  The Eighty Twenty have since temporarily suspended the print edition to look for a more cost-effective means of publication.  As much as I LOVE having the printed version to satisfy my tactile needs, I can’t see making that kind of splurge again for 38 pages when twice that dollar figure will get me a whole new Paleo cookbook.  The digital version is an easier-to-swallow $7.99 which is still a bit steep, but acceptable for a luxury product.  The file is one of those lovely flip-book views, as opposed to a PDF.  However, the downside to that format is that the recipes are not printable, which is a strong preference for me given the unclassy hot mess my kitchen becomes on meal prep day.  Nevertheless, I fully expect to purchase the digital version of the next issue (and cross my fingers that they find a way to make recipes printable in the future)!

Keep up the beautiful work, ladies! I sincerely look forward to seeing what your spring issue has in store!

On Dressing Like a Style Icon

Kate Hair

I am a great admirer of the Duchess of Cambridge – both of her personality and her style.  I have a Pinterest board devoted to Kate.  I recently joined the writing team at What Would Kate Do? – one of the leading sites documenting Catherine’s endeavors as a public figure.  So it should come as no great shock that I’m a sucker for a good RepliKate (“a piece of clothing clearly inspired by something the Duchess of Cambridge has worn”).

You don’t have to look far to find women to strive to emulate the style of other timeless icons – Audrey Hepburn or the late Princess Grace.

The thing is, even in the best of circumstances – unlimited budget, limitless time, gifted genes – no one person is exactly like another.  Case in point: my baby-fine, stick-straight hair.  Despite spending plenty of green on products and tools, and devoting an hour (or more) to styling, my hair will only hold volume and a curl for three minutes post-blowout (photo on left).  No exaggeration.  After three years of trying, I caved and cut my hair last October (photo on right; and yes, that’s an intentionally Kate-esque faux wrap dress I’m wearing).  I’ve not only bought back 60+ minutes of my mornings, but my look stays fresh and classy until I shake hands with my last client of the day.

Today I am over at What Would Kate Do? discussing the underlying fashion principles of my style icon, and how to achieve a Duchess-worthy look in the skin you’re in.

Mascara Monday: Urban Decay Perversion

UD Perversion

I’ve been hearing great things about Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara! I’m already a huge fan of the Urban Decay Naked palettes (just like my girl, Kate!) and was thrilled to get my hands on a trial size.

Urban Decay’s website describes Perversion as an

ultra-creamy, lengthening, volumizing formula [that] coats each lash with triple-black pigments and a deeply nourishing ingredient blend—for bigger, blacker, badder lashes. It’s sick how black it is…the purest, deepest, most intense black color imaginable.

What I love:

  • Lush, velvety lashes in one coat; downright falsie lashes with two coats!
  • No eyelash curler required
  • Paraben-free

What I don’t:

  • The brush gets clumpy easily
  • Gets smudgy with oily skin/humidity – not super as we enter the Sweaty season down South.

Bottom line: not my all-day mascara, but GREAT for a smoldering, date-night look!

The travel/trial size will only set you back $12 at Sephora.