Archive | September, 2013

3 easy ways to make a cosmetic change –

Phew – The last few posts have presented a wealth of information. As wonderful as information can be, it can also be daunting!

CosmeticsHair products, sunscreens, make-up, lip balms — I get overwhelmed just thinking about all of the cosmetic products my family uses.  The thought of researching each one to uncover the potentially hazardous ingredients would take hours.  AND throwing each one out and starting fresh would cost a small fortune.  Neither of these are realistic options for the majority of us.  So, what is a girl to do?

Sharlyn and I thought we would present a few ways to change that won’t take all your precious time or money and are easy to implement into our crazy lives.

1) Know what to avoid ~

This is the probably the easiest option to implement. Simply know the worst 4 ingredients and avoid buying products that contain them.  To make this easy on you, we created this handy little card, just print it off  and keep it in your wallet, and the next time you are going to make a purchase in the cosmetics section —  pull it out and do a quick ingredient check before you pbuy. To print the list of Ingredients to AVOID click here.IngredientsAVOIDHere’s why:

Triclosan – Is suspected of interfering with hormone function, possibly an endocrine disrupter,  may increase incidence of allergies, and contribute to antibiotic resistance. The EPA registers it as a pesticide. It is harmful to fish and other wildlife as it does not easily degrade. Typically found in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants.

Parabens – Have been found in breast cancer tumors and also have shown ability to mimic the estrogen hormone (which plays an important role in breast cancer development). Used as preservatives in cosmetics to help prevent the growth of bacteria. Typically found in deodorants and antiperspirants.

Fragrance or Parfum – Is considered a human immune system toxicant, can increase allergies and asthma. Found in most cosmetic products moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants and obviously, perfume and body sprays. :)

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or SLS  – Has been linked to caner, can cause eye and skin irritations and allergic reactions. Found in most products that foam , i.e. shampoo, soap, facial cleansers, etc. (also found in engine degreasers and floor cleaners – and I put that on my skin- gross!).

*This list is my own personal opinion (and I am not an expert!). It is based on my research and reading through several other sites and articles.  I found that these 4 ingredients consistantly appeared on most  lists and they seemed to worst to me!  Other sites with more highly qualified people may have different opinions.  I encourage you to do your own research too.

If you are feeling super ambitious and want more than four ingredients, click here MindBodyGreen has a printout of their top 12 to avoid.

2) Start slowly ~ Research and change (if necessary) one product at a time~

Commit to making one change at a time. Follow Sharlyn’s model in our last post.  When you notice that your cosmetic product is running low —

1.) Hop on the Skin Deep Database, select that product from their search option and within seconds you will we see ratings.  Scroll through the ratings until you find a product that fits your needs.

This is also how I started making changes.  When my son was born, I really wanted to put the best, most natural products on his sweet, perfect baby bottom.  So, as he started needing different items, I would search for that item  and look through the options until I found one with a rating that I approved of and would fit in our budget.  The two downfalls to this were 1)  I had to order most of my products online as they were not available locally, and 2) I did spend a lot of time researching – I just found it so interesting I couldn’t stop!

3) Find a company you can trust and stick with them ~

We currently subscribe to The Honest Company.  They have great social and environmental principles, and I know I can trust their products. If I lived in a bigger city with more shopping options, I am not sure this is the route I would go, as it does seem expensive and the product selection is limited. However, it does have its perks. It is easy and convenient,  you can set it up to receive automatic deliveries however often you wish.  You could also find a local business or company that you trust, read this post about The Chair and Intelligent Nurtrients products, and buy straight from them.


If you are a bit more particular and want to sample products before switching or committing to anything consider joining Goodebox for a few months – For $16 a month they send you trial sized products from  thoroughly evaluated, mission based brands committed to using the best, non-toxic ingredients to create innovative, performance based products that respect people, animals and planet. *I have not tried this company but am tempted too…

So there you go – our 3 easy-peasy, options to start making changes in our cosmetic products that will lead to healthier lives!

Do any of you have any products or companies that you have tried and love?  If so, please share with us in the comment section, the more recommendations we have the better!

Happy Monday!


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Purely Toxic – The truth behind your products

Sharlyn is at it again! I am happy to share another great and informative post by Sharlyn. Before you settle in to read this post, get up and grab your favorite (or closest) cosmetic product, i.e. lotion, make-up, shampoo, anything you slather on your body. Keep it handy for the challenge she presents below.

Purely Toxic?

Pure — just the word I want to see in the name of a product I use daily.

As shoppers we are reassured and swayed by words like “pure” and “natural.” But what do these product names really tell us?

This morning, with just a few crumbles of “nude,” sunscreen-enhanced coverage left, I had reached the end of my favorite foundation, Purestay powder. Time to head to the store and pick up a new package.

Since I’ve been reading and writing about the potential hazards of cosmetics, I decided to take a moment to check out the purity of my “Purestay” foundation. I recently discovered, Skin Deep, a cosmetics database created by the Environmental Working Group. It is a wonderful web-resource designed to “put the power of information in consumers’ hands.”  Click on this link and keep the window open as you read, so you can see first hand just how informative it can be!


I typed the name of my foundation in the search feature of Skin Deep, and my foundation quickly popped up. I was immediately hit with red warning signs (see below)! My “pure” foundation ranked in the “high” danger zone for two ingredients: retinyl acetate (Vitamin A acetate) and propylparaben. These two ingredients warranted red-level rankings of 8 and 7 out of 10 for ‘biochemical or cellular level changes, cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, allergies/immunotoxicity, and ecotoxicity. Let’s see … that’s four uses of the word “toxicity” — not to mention cancer and disruption — in only the first two ingredients.


Following the two “high concern” ingredients, my foundation includes four “moderate concern” ingredients. Why did these four warrant moderate rankings? The reasons include “cancer, contamination concerns, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), and occupational hazards.” WHAT!? Needless to say, I decided to postponed my trip to the store until I could find a product that I felt comfortable using on my body and washing down my drain.

THE CHALLENGE: Let’s play a little game using the scorecard below. Search your cosmetic product and find the number of times each of these words/prefixes is used in EWG’s Skin Deep hazards list for your cosmetic. I hit the jackpot with my Purestay Maybelline foundation. I rang up 25 uses of the word “toxicity” followed by a respectable showing of “cancer,” “biochemical/cellular changes,” “endocrine disruption,” and “bioaccumulation”.

Product Challenge

Maybe “Pure” should be renamed “Potentially hazardous.” Not quite the same marketing effect, but more accurate. The “stay” part, however, is closer to the truth. I ranked 5 mentions of “persistence and bioaccumulation.”

Well, that’s just my foundation. Maybe my shampoo will do better in the rankings. After all, it’s a high quality product with the word “therappe” right on the label. “Therapy” = good for me, right? Let’s check it out.

Oh dear. My shampoo earned a 7 out of 10 in the hazardous ingredients database rankings. Again, I am inundated with words I don’t want to associate with my shampoo: “ecotoxicology, cancer, organ system toxicology, enhanced skin absorption, biocellular changes, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicology,” and more.

Alright, I’m convinced. How do I make a healthy, responsible change in my cosmetics? I decide to approach my shopping choices from a more positive angle. Instead of looking at discouraging lists of toxins, I searched for safe, clean foundations and shampoos to replace my current products. The EWG Skin Deep database lists 19 foundations and 84 shampoos with a 0, or green, level of hazardous ingredients. I perused this list, clicked on individual products for more information, and then selected a foundation and shampoo that fit both my personal care needs and my conscience.

I can buy my new shampoo in town, and my foundation online. Either way, I’ll be making my preferences known to manufacturers and retailers. After all, money talks and I’m ready to make mine sing!

I hope you enjoyed this post and all the information that Sharlyn presented. I know it can be overwhelming and a lot to process all at once.  Don’t feel overwhelmed, information is just takes a while to figure out how to use it!  Stayed tuned for our next post when we will share a few practical and easy ways to start making these types of changes. 

Here is to a happy and healthy Monday!


em & sharlyn


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Would you put that in your mouth?

Would you put that in your mouth?

Your hair and skin products should be good enough to eat.

Liquid soap and woman's hands

I am so excited to feature our first-ever guest writer!! The following post was written by Sharlyn Peterson, an amazing woman, talented writer and dear friend of mine.  This will be the first post in a series about choosing cosmetic products wisely. 

So, you’re getting pretty savvy about finding socially responsible sources for some of your most important purchases, like coffee and chocolate. You buy produce at the local farmer’s market when you can, and through local cooperatives, or the organic section of the produce department in the off seasons. Your eggs come in hand-dated cartons fresh from local ranches, your beef grazes in grassy pastures, and your ice cream is untainted with hormones or pesticides. It’s natural that we begin making personal and global changes with food and drink, the most basic purchases we make. Now, it’s time to widen the circle.

What we put on our bodies may be just as important as what we put in them…

Take a good deep sniff of your hair gel. Better yet, take a mouthful. Not sure you want to drink your hairspray or eat your conditioner? Did you know that hair follicles act like straws, siphoning chemicals down into your body? In fact, common hair products are loaded with damaging, even carcinogenic chemicals.  Check out these articles for more facts: Healthy Hair?,  Chemicals and Brain Development.

Your hair and skin need the same care and protection you give your diet. The next step in leading a life that is free from toxic chemicals is to find beauty products that live up to the same standards you expect from your food. Shopping for responsible beauty products is an extension of the shopping standards you have learned to use for food, clothes, and many other products:

  • Support local enterprises whenever possible.

  • Support environmental protection always.

  • Support fair working conditions for everyone.

For those of us lucky enough to call Sheridan home, we have a local source of “Bought.Beautifully” products at The Chair Salon. The Chair offers a stylishly healthful place to find professional hair services and organic personal care products. Stepping into the cool aqua décor of The Chair compels visitors to take a deep, cleansing breath of pure air scented with traces of essential oils and pure organics. Tara Cruz opened her new salon because she believes in providing people with products they can feel good about putting on their skin and hair.

Sharlyn at the Chair Salon

“I wanted to make a point of difference, to offer something good for the environment and something I feel good about using when I work with people. Now, when I go home, my 4-year-old daughter says I smell good!” says Tara.

IMG_5148 Ariana2

Tara began her career in cosmetology seven years ago working in an Aveda salon in Colorado. When she and husband Aaron Cruz moved their growing family back to their home town, Sheridan, she missed working with healthful beauty products, especially since she was carrying her second child and absorbing all the chemicals she worked with. She looked for the most pure products available and found Aveda founder, Horst Rechelbacher’s, new line of organic, socially responsible products called Intelligent Nutrients. The name says it all: these beauty products all act as nutrition for the body, applied from the outside in.

“If it’s good enough to go on your body, it should be good enough to go into your mouth” is the motto and guiding philosophy of the company.

In fact, the products are based on a proprietary blend of antioxidants called “Intellimune” which provides nutrition for the body whether taken internally or applied through the skin and hair.

I enjoyed sampling Intelligent Nutrients products, knowing that everything I inhaled or rubbed into my skin was nourishing my whole body while supporting an environmentally responsible industry. Like most organic choices, the prices are higher for these products than for the cheap mass-market products lining the shelves at big box stores. But they are not higher than prices for comparable salon beauty products, and the company is committed to keeping prices lower by using simple, low-cost packaging and giving many products multiple uses.


Tara welcomes beautiful shoppers to come in and sample these products. Visitors are free to taste, dab, and spritz any of the Intelligent Nutrient products she carries.

**If you live in Sheridan, I totally recommend doing this.  I was really  fun to try all her products and chat with Tara, she is a wealth of information! You will leave smarter and smelling better :)  – emily

Stay tuned for the next post in this series, where we will discuss a few simple changes you can make regarding your beauty products and some of the major ingredients to avoid when buying these products.

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Britta’s Shower – The Bought Beautifully Details

The time has come for the final post on Britta’s shower and the last opportunity to sign up to win this awesome Chevron Table runner and Delicious Craft Coffee

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It was so special to be a part of  planning Britta’s shower.  I especially loved the challenge of looking at all the details of the shower and trying to find different ways to make them all a little more Bought Beautiful :). The main ways we did this were:

  • Using almost all re-usable or recycled decor (Less waste)!  See the pics here.

  • Using fair trade, organic and/or local ingredients in the recipes whenever possible. Read about them here and here.

  • Creating a purposeful registry.  Read more about her registry here.

The final bullet point is the key piece that truly made this a Bought Beautifully shower. Britta was committed to seeking out products that had some sort of positive impact.  Here are the guidelines she used when creating here registry:

1. The workers who created the product were paid a fair wage.

2. The origin of the product is known.

3. The item is bought from an organization that is doing meaningful work.

4. The product is eco-friendly.

Her desire to find amazing meaningful item was so inspiring and encouraging! So to wrap things up I just wanted to show off some of the items that Britta received and highlight some of the organizations that they came from:

Pitcher from SerrvPitcher from Serrv

GiftsVintage canisters from  White bowl and serving platter from School House Electric.

PillowsBeautiful Chevron Pillows from Story Company

Made in America A Breakfast Basket Made in America

My older sister totally out did herself on this gift! She started by looking for unique products that were made in America and ended up creating an entire basket of goodies around the theme of Breakfast in America (all items were made in America – mugs, cutting board, scone mix, coffee, tea, mixing bowl). SOOOO CUTE!

PyrexPyrex Storage containers – Made in America!

Organic Free Trade Cotton Pillow Cases, Fair Trade Cotton  from Faceplant Dreams

More great products Pitcher from Sundance. Wood cutting board from Viva Terra Bookends from Serrv.

Lovely things, right? You can click on Britta’s pinterest board below for a complete look at all the items on her registry.

ALSO, if love the idea of buying products like these, stay tuned in the following weeks for details on the opening of the Consumers in Christ Marketplace!!!!   After months and months of hard work we will be opening for business soon…eeeeeeeh!! So excited!!! Can’t wait to share it with you all!  You can click on the link  to check it out, but keep in mind that the site is still under construction but will be ready very soon… :)

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

– emily

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Britta’s Shower – Thirsty Anyone?

One of my  favorite parts about Britta’s shower, besides the decor and togetherness which I shared about here, was the food and drinks! The menu ended up being perfect: delicious, easy and not too stressful to prepare.  I highlighted a few of the recipes and ingredients in earlier posts – Spinach Goat Cheese Salad, Caramel Sauce, if you are interested in trying something out.

However, everyone knows the secret ingredient to the perfect shower menu is, of course, the drinks!

Craft CoffeeWe were so lucky to have connections in high places as we were searching for the perfect coffee to serve with dessert.  Our cousin Lili connected us with Craft Coffee as she knew they were featuring a coffee that would fit in perfectly with the Bought Beautifully Shower Theme.  *Lili was unable to attend the shower :( but her presence was felt as the aroma of coffee drifted through the air :).

Craft Coffee is a unique company that offers monthly coffee subscriptions, delivering different high quality coffee roasts to your doorstep! We were able to sample Mountain Air Coffee, a delicious direct trade coffee.  Click here to read more about direct trade and how and why it is another good choice when buying coffee. Here are some of the other details on the coffee:

Mountain Air Roasting

Craft Coffee sounds pretty wonderful, right? Well, we have two ways for you try them out for yourself…

We want to say a special thank you to Nate and everyone at Craft Coffee for letting us sample this amazing coffee. We loved it!

We thought you might also, so Craft Coffee is generously giving our blog readers a special discount:

All Bought Beautifully readers can receive 10% off anything on the Craft Coffee website!!! Enter this coupon code: BOUGHTBEAUTIFUL

What a great deal. If everything on their site is as good as Mountain Air Coffee, you won’t be disappointed.

However, if you are like me and like to sample things before you commit to buying them, you can enter to win a sample of Craft Coffee – Mountain Air Roasting – and this beautiful Chevron table runner from the shower:

Free Gift!To enter: Simply enter your email below to subscribe to receive Bought Beautifully Posts by email.

Enter here:

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Winner will be chosen at random.

Again, another special thanks to Brooke Photography for sharing her wonderful photos with us!

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Britta’s Shower – The Decor

WOW! What a past few weeks. Family fun, busyness, and travel combined with soaking up the last few days of summer has resulted in this post being long over due. Sorry about that!  Needless to say, Britta’s shower was absolutely amazing!  The best part by far was celebrating my littlest sister and this new phase of life she is entering with a wonderful group of women who have known her and loved her for many years!  The decorating, planning, and time spent putting everything together with my sisters, mom, and friends was pretty special too!  This will be a two-part series with today’s post featuring the decor and tomorrow’s post featuring some of the small details that made this a “BoughtBeautifully” shower :)

So, without further ado here we go pictures from BRITTA’S SHOWER!  And don’t miss your chance to win a beautiful chevron table runner at the end of the post!)

Welcome Bike My mom and her dear friends, Sharon and Linda, are the Queens of Garage Sale Challenges and the best DIY-ers I know.  A few months ago they decided to put their talents and collection of amazing  garage sale, estate sale and “free on the side of the road finds” together to create a little business –  One Hundred Chairs Vintage Rentals.  Thanks to them we had countless resources available to use for the shower (like the adorable bike above and pretty much everything you see below!).


Drink Station

IMG_1215 Sparkle H2O


The tables

Table Bride Table 2



Dishes Toppings Caramel

 Present Time~


I just had to include this picture as it gives a little glimpse of the behind the scenes preparing for the shower; naked babies, kids dancing on tables, women chatting and giggling and lots of LOVE!!

Stay tuned for our next post which will highlight Britta’s registry and the other shower details.

Sign up to receive Bought Beautifully’s posts via email and be automatically entered to win this GREAT GIFT featuring items from Britta’s shower:

A chevron table runner and a sample of Mountain Air Coffee from Craft Coffee (It’s DE-LI-CI-OUS, find out more in the next post!)

Free Gift!Enter here:

Join us:Delivered by FeedBurner Also, a special thanks to Brooke Photography for photographing the party and sharing her pictures with us. It was so fun having you at the shower!

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