Upon popular request, here is a list of my favorite cruelty free, natural, and vegan conscious Beauty products!Read more
Back in the day I was a makeup artist trained in NYC and working for MAC, the ultimate in makeup artist land. I loved being an artist and found it so rewarding.... for the first 2 years at least. Then I started to feel like all I was getting were women who wanted to me take away their flaws, insecurities, and cover them up. I felt like the career I was in was telling women they weren't beautiful the way they were, but rather they had to look a certain way to be loved and feel confident. I no longer felt joy in my work and began to question the message and purpose of what I was doing. Starting a Yoga and Meditation practice really helped me to figure out what my actual purpose was. Fast forward several years and here we are!
I have not changed my stance, I do not believe women need to wear makeup in order to be beautiful. Not in a million years will I ever again send that as my message! However, there are many reasons why we would want to wear makeup or beautify ourselves, its called self care and it is very essential to our goddess nature as Shakti beings! I myself on any given day have worn makeup and give myself some pampering. I still paint my nails, wear concealer, and do a facial mask from time to time. Although the actions may be the same as before, my intentions now are very different. VERY different. Allow me to explain....
Now days I don't put makeup on to cover something up, I put it on to enhance my natural beauty. I have no problem wearing makeup and I certainly have no issues being seen without makeup, in fact I went an entire year without a drop of product on my face when I got out of the beauty industry. When I put on makeup now, its a conscious choice I make to enhance the beauty I feel from within to the external. I'm not doing it to hide or to feel more confident, I'm doing it out of a sense of empowerment. The difference now is that I already feel beautiful without it, therefor putting on makeup or nail polish is just an extension of that beauty I feel. Another difference is that I no longer feel some sense of ego driven confidence when I am done putting makeup on. I don't feel grandiose or that I am better than anyone else because I feel I look so good! It used to be that I got a grand sense of who I was with a full face of makeup on, like I really was something special, really better than everyone else. I no longer feel that at all, I have truly learned to not see myself as more special than anyone else. I don't think of people as being different than me, I see myself as part of the human collective and I don't use makeup or beauty to define my status in this community.
I am very conscious of my choices now, from what I eat to what I buy, nothing is overlooked. When I was younger and really into beauty I only cared about what looked good, I paid no attention to how it was made, by who, or if it hurt anything or anyone in the process. I didn't care about my environmental impact and I certainly didn't care if animals were being tested on. That couldn't be farther from the truth today, I have made every effort to make sure I only buy from a place of empathy and knowledge. I am learning everyday about new products and where they come from, if they test on animals or use animal in their products, if they are made ethically and who makes them. I am not perfect and don't always make perfect choices, sometimes I have to realize I may not have all the facts on something but I still make an effort to seek the information out. Why would I want to live my life constantly reading labels and only buying consciously, you ask? Well a better question would be why live in ignorance?
Ignorance might be bliss, but it sure doesn't make for a more beautiful world.
If I wanted to truly walk the talk then why would I continue contributing to the worlds problems and suffering? I am not hurting myself or anyone else by trying to find out more about a product. My lifestyle is about becoming the healthiest version of myself, and that means I read labels and I find out as much as I can about the item. Not only am I that much more educated about where my money goes but I can take the best steps to knowing what I put on my body and how healthy it might be.
My beauty routine used to mean I spent an hour and a half getting ready in front of a mirror before I stepped out of the house, these day's I may only take 30 minutes from start to finish, and thats on a really awesome day! I no longer stare at myself for hours making sure every hair is in place and every inch of my face is flawless. I am so much more grateful for my features and I can happily look in the mirror and see beauty in being minimal. Simplicity has become so gorgeous to me, that I actively seek out the simplest method to accentuate and highlight my features.
Whats my makeup routine now?
Concealer, mineral powder (a highlight and contour), blush, liquid bronze illuminator, mascara, and eye brow filler. On a fancy day I wear some eyeshadow!
Thats my simple routine and it takes me less than 15minutes to do. Isn't it fantastic? I absolutely love my routine now! I love making my naturally long black lashes pop with some mascara, I adore how my olive skin shines with a little bit of powder, I love how the delicate contours of my face accentuate with some bronze shimmer. On a really special day I add some eye shadow to show off the maturity in my eyes. Wrinkles don't bother me, I welcome them! Blemishes are just there as a reminder of my humanness. Dark circles tell me a story about my sleep cycle! Its all gorgeous to me.
Being minimal and simple has taught me so much about my own inner worth and what truly is beautiful. Not allowing myself to get caught up in stories of lack and selfishness. I don't judge those who chose to beautify themselves on a daily basis nor do I condemn those who chose that as their lifestyle. I simply live by the principle of empowerment and health. I believe everyone's beauty shines from a deep inner space and the physical is just an extension of that.
Have questions for me? Write me in the comments below! More beauty articles to come in the future, stay tuned.
Follow me on Instagram @elianayogini and Facebook at /elianayogalife
While everyone begins their holiday diets, or begin thinking about it come Thanksgiving, I have been doing a lot of thought on mindful eating. I have put together a list in the hopes of giving you some insight on my own experience and to steer you away from dieting all together. Yes, you read that right, my advice is NO DIETING!!! While some of you are jumping for joy, others are calling me crazy, however I tell you no lies. Here is my advice for you on eating for Health & Wellness. No.1) Start a Meditation Practice
"But this has nothing to do with eating", I can hear you say! Actually, it can lead to a deeper and more meaningful eating experience. When you meditate the neurons in your brain begin to act differently, thus changing your thoughts and actions to become wiser with more intention. Once this has happened you will notice your eating habits begin to change. For instance, you might begin to notice after meditating that you eat salty foods when you feel stressed. You might notice also that when you are feeling sensitive or sad you eat a lot of sweets. Once you have meditated for a while you can start to curb that behavior and choose to actively avoid sweets and salt and rather go to a yoga class or walk your dog once these emotions begin to arise within you. When you begin to listen to the body on a deep cellular level, your habits begin to change slowly to become more mindful of your actions. For myself this was a gradual process but so powerful that I now eat a solely plant based diet as a result of my changed behavior. I no longer eat junk food, have cut out processed foods and sugar by 90%, and eat 2 raw meals a day. As a result I feel healthier and more clear, focused, and strong. Notice how I am not on a diet though, because I notice that when I force myself to do something I end up stressing not just my mind out but also my body. Instead I make decisions day by day to think healthy and I am very thoughtful of my choices, but I never force myself to do anything. This ends up giving me full power over my physical and mental health which is ultimately what it is all about.
No.2) Eat More Fresh Food
This goes right into nutritional education, and you are definitely encouraged to do your own research on this, but eating fresh means you are eating wholesome nutrients for maximum health. You can gradually start increasing your daily fresh food intake, such as salads with little to no dressing, whole fruits and veggies like apples or carrots, and a variety of juices and smoothies. You can eat fruits for breakfast, a veggie plate and Juice for lunch, or a large fresh salad for dinner. While I am not suggesting you get on a raw only diet, what I am advising is for you to introduce as much raw and fresh ingredients into your day as possible, the more organic the better. The great thing about this is you can customize it to your daily schedule. If you want to save money, buy seasonal and from the farmers market. You can eat whole fruits and veggies as snacks, you can create fresh juices, or you can blend up some smoothies. There are thousands of fresh and raw recipes online and from books to help you get creative. Try this out for a month and notice how you feel, integrate it into your journaling and mindful practice. When you buy and eat food, notice why you're buying it and if you are in a particular mood. This practice can substantially effect your health in positive ways.
No.3) Read The Ingredients List
This is a great practice for anyone to do, especially children. Knowing what ingredients are going into your body is essential to your wellness. It can seem overwhelming at first if this is not a practice you have ever partaken in, but over time it becomes like second nature. When buying packaged food, always look to see what it was made out of, then scan the nutrition box for things like calories and sugar. What I usually scan for are grams of sugar, preservatives, and dairy content. A general rule that I, and most people have, is if you cant pronounce it then don't eat it! However I take it a step further and say if I don't know what it is then I don't eat, meaning if the ingredient is so far from anything I know then I stay away from it. When you make a choice to read your ingredients you are actively partaking in your wellness and health education by default. You know exactly what you are eating and can make choices on what you continue to eat and what you can leave behind on the shelf. I began this practice several years ago as a way to become more mindful of my choices, and it has transformed my eating completely! I am not obsessive about it though, and that can become tempting if you let it. Again, this is a practice in mindfulness not obsession and negative behavior. If you become too obsessed about your food then you begin to cross over into eating disorder territory, which is very unhealthy. Be sure not to put pressure on yourself and push yourself into any habit that is not serving your highest self. The moment you find yourself upset about food is the moment you should take a step back and give yourself a break. No one is perfect and you shouldn't try to be. If you eat some junk food and a pastry its not the end of the world, its simply a choice.
Let yourself eat to live, don't live to eat!
Finally, Forget Body Image. In today's society we are taught that the way we look is more important than health and wellness. Just because someone is skinny doesn't mean they are healthy, and the same is true for the opposite. When I was younger I modeled and I looked very skinny but ate fast food, chips and soda, and candy on a daily basis. I looked healthy, by society standards, on the outside but was extremely unhealthy on the inside. Most importantly I was very unhealthy mentally, my mood was very imbalanced and I abused alcohol to control my depression and anxiety. On the flip side I now know people who aren't skinny, by some peoples perspective, but eat incredibly healthy food and keep their bodies active and fit, proving that you should not judge a book by its cover. Forget body image and simply focus on healthy habits. This can radically change your outlook on life and also help you to think more lovingly of yourself. Love is what this practice is all about!
Theres a story behind everything we do in life. The first car you ever bought, the coffee table in the living room, the dog you rescued from the shelter. Not much floats through life without gaining a history along the way.
There is a park not too far from my house that I like taking the dogs to. Its not a very exciting park, theres the usual grass and weeds, the random dry dog poop someone didn't pick up, the metal fence that people can see through. I wasn't feeling particularly sunny that day, some days you just wake up in a funk. I figured spending quality time outdoors would do the trick. As I looked around at the dogs playing and sniffing the ground I noticed the flowers that had grown in small patches around the park. I walked over and inspected their long stems and bright colored petals. On instinct I began to pull them out and collected myself a nice stack. Naturally I wanted to do something with the flowers and without hesitation I began to tie them at the stems. I figured if I couldn't feel like sunshine, I could at least wear it! A flower crown was born that day, I put flowers in my dogs hair too! I noticed my mood got lighter and suddenly I didn't feel like poop. My creative juices got flowing and I had a rush of happiness fill my body.
"All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them." - Arapaho
When I got home I thought to myself I would really like to make one that lasts! So I got in the car and headed to the crafts store. I picked the flowers that spoke to me the most and brought me a sense of joy and peace. The daisy has always been one of my favorite flowers. As soon as I saw it I was immediately drawn to it. When I began working on my flower crown, I took great care to make it as perfect as I could. When I finished I placed it gently on my head, looked in the mirror, and again felt the same brightness I felt at the park. There is something very natural and powerful about wearing flowers on your head. It must be primitive and engrained in our DNA to feel a certain kind of special once we adorn ourselves with anything from nature.
Every crown made has this feeling of natural serenity to it. Nothing is an accident. Nothing is as beautiful as the simplicity and grace that nature gives us. It is a gift that I wish to extend to as many people as I can.
You can find the Daisy crown on my Etsy shop HippiesAndGranola
Find us on Instagram @hippiesandgranola
As I get deeper and deeper into this world of "All Natural" I am consistently fascinated by the amount of information there is on all natural remedies! We have become so accustomed to buying things made ready to use in pretty packaging that we have lost sight of our very basic nature, and going back to natural becomes a whole new world we forgot about! In one of my recent online scavenger hunts for natural beauty recipes, I found a current fad evolving.
No Poo, aka no shampoo, is an incredible new way of thinking about how to get healthier and shinier hair. It involves getting rid of your current shampoo, no matter how natural it might be, and using a baking soda rinse instead. Just a few times a week you rinse, not shampoo, your roots and then after condition the ends with oil. This is AMAZING! So simple, cost efficient, and incredibly smart. When I was in high school I took cosmetology and looking back at it now it was such a dangerously misleading field of study. Chemicals filled the air in the rooms, suffocating your lungs, and polluting your body. I regret now being so naive about the class, knowing now that I was certainly poisoned by the chemicals my lungs and skin were exposed to.
But no need to be gloomy! Its a new day and its time to discover what is possible with natural care. If you are wanting to give this no shampoo thing a try, make sure you are patient! It takes about two weeks for you and your hair to get used to the change. What this method does is it allows your natural oils from your scalp keep your strands healthy. Kind of like oil in your car helps to keep things rolling, the same is true with our hair. Using the rinse no more than 3 times a week helps to keep things smooth and working properly. You can add a vinegar rinse, just like Shirley Temple's mom used to do, to really do yourself some good. Apple Cider Vinegar works wonders for many things, this included, just make sure you dilute it with water.
No Poo Recipe: 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda for one cup of warm water. Rub it on the scalp and rinse very well! Only do this up 2-3 times per week. Follow up with Olive oil on the ends of the hair to condition. For curly and long hair I found Coconut oil to work the best.