Part of why I started this ‘Instead of’ movement (@insteadofmovement) was to share tips on how to live a more sustainable life but in an approachable, fashionable, way. And also inspire brands to recognize they have choices when it comes to how they package their products and how they run their companies. For me Aveda embodies everything we’re all about. Efficacious products, mindful packaging, giving back… and frankly they’re cool.
Started in 1978 by one of my personal heroes and complete visionary Horst Rechelbacher with the vision to bring beauty professionals botanical products that would be good for them, their guests, and the Earth and its communities.
'Instead of' hacks on how to live a more mindful and sustainable life. - YouTube
Antoinette Beenders, Global Creative Director of Aveda (2 min and 40 seconds in) and others share how they make a difference.
Aveda cares for the world we live in and sets an example for environmental leadership and responsibility. Antoinette Beenders, Aveda’s Global Creative Director participated in our first ever ‘Instead of’ video shown above and shared some of Aveda’s initiatives including their annual ‘Trashion Show.’
Aveda’s annual Trashion show to raise money to unite to ensure clean water for all.
Giving back is very important to Aveda – over the last 20 years, they have raised over $60M during their annual Earth Month campaigns, which has been donated to various environmental and clean water initiatives.
Their commitment to providing clean water to all and all the amazing work they do makes them our heroes. Some other things you should know:
Aveda was born cruelty-free, never tested on animals
Aveda pioneered 100% post-consumer recycled packaging in the beauty industry and has won more than 20 awards for packaging innovations to date. They make every effort to avoid using virgin plastic and use 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) material as much as they can. When they can’t use it, they combine PCR with bioplastic – which is made of sugarcane and not detrimental to recycling systems.
Aveda is a 100% wind-powered product manufacturer and more than 83% of their waste is reused or recycled in their primary manufacturing facility.
Lastly they need a dog line! Their hair brushes are the only thing that work on Charlie!
Hanging with Lindsay Ellingson wander beauty NYC pop-up
I finally met Lindsay Ellingson, co-founder of Wander Beauty at the brands first pop-up shop in NYC. The travel theme, highly instagram-able shop is open through July 31st and located at 787 Lexington Avenue, between 61st and 62nd street. They are offering fun, daily activations so be sure to check it out.
It’s the magical time of year when Space NK does one of their edit events with an epic gift with purchase. This season (while supplies last) they are offering 18 deluxe beauty samples from brands including Ren, Bumble and Bumble, Tata Harper, UMA and more yours with any $165 Space NK purchase. Spend an additional $30 an choose from two Omorovicza products the Moor Mud Cream Cleanser of the Queen of Hungry Mist!
In world filled with knock offs and a beauty world that’s obsessed with what’s new, sometimes it’s the OG’s, the tried and true, that we need to continue to give our attention to. The Original Beautyblender just launched in a new Limited Edition canister at Sephora, fit for a queen; because lets face it, she’s the queen of makeup tools!
The Original Beautyblended in limited edition Queen canister
Beautyblender’s unique, latex-free, super soft material is aqua-activated. Meaning, you add water to and squeeze until it grow 2x in size, creating a second-skin effect when bouncing and melting product into the skin. Plus, when damp, makeup sits atop the sponge (rather than soaking it in) eliminating product waste.
You can use your Beautyblender with just about any formula from liquids, creams, and powders. Fun tip, I recently used is you can use it for “baking” for precise and mess-free application in those hard to reach areas. PRO-TIP: Before baking, slightly dampen your already wet beautyblender to ensure easy and efficient powder pick up and placement!
Personally, I just use it for foundation but I need to broaden my horizons. Cheers the QUEEN, you’re perfect.
Gua sha is a technique used in traditional East Asian medicine to relieve muscle tension, improve circulation and for lymphatic drainage. We’ve seen them in everything from Rose Quartz, Jade to and beyond. Dr Elizabeth Trattner sells ethically sourced tools on her site and shows us the proper way to Gua Sha (spoiler alert, you’ve probably been doing it wrong. And goes above and beyond in her demo below on how to tackle wrinkles and problematic areas like the jaw for a lot of us that grind our teeth! My friend, Dr. Nadia just launched a Bian Stone one that contains over 40 mineral and trace elements, and produces negative ions (which has an anti-aging effects).
Dr. Elizabeth Trattner shows us how to properly use a Gua Sha tool - Vimeo
Dr. Elizabeth Trattner is known for the Gemstone Acupuncture facial which includes gentle facial cupping, Gua Sha treatment, gemstones and acupuncture.
Last night was epic. Jamie Kern Lima, Co-founder and CEO of It Cosmetics took us on a confidence journey (complete with passport holder) as the brand welcomed four new products into their ever expanding Confidence collection.
Confidence in a Foundation ($32, 1 fl oz), 48 shades, 24 hours of full coverage in a velvet-matte finish. I watched as it covered acne, hyper-pigmentation and rosacea in the swope of a brush — and oh yes, I highly recommend applying with one of It Cosmetics skincare makeup brushes (brush No707 to be exact). The duo = flawless skin. It’s also filled with skincare loving ingredients like ceramides, peptides, hydrolyzed collage, hyaluronic acid and squalane and great for all skin types including sensitive skin.
Confidence in a Neck Cream ($52, 2.6oz), hits all the buzz words of elastin, collagen, hyaluronic acid, shea butter, ceramides, seaweed extract and niacin to help lift and improve firmness, elasticity and smooth skin. It’s clinically tested to reduce the look of horizontal neck lines and it comes with a face and neck citrine roller. Because citrine takes out the bad energy and puts in the good!
Confidence in a Gel Lotion ($36, 2.5 fl oz), the Hydra-Plumping Skin-Transforming Weightless Moisturizer offers 72 hours of hydration (what, what?) It’s oil-free and light weight for all of those who crave hydration but feel like moisturizers are too heavy and make their skin feel “oily”. It’s velvety smooth and wake up tired skin. And as I still can’t get over 3 days of hydration in one step.
Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone ($48, 2oz), Surface Cell Renewal Rosy Tone Vitality Moisturizer, which translates to this moisturizer helps wake up dull, sallow skin. Whether that’s due to having mature skin, living on an airplane or you’ve been up partying all night, this moisturizer infuses some instant vitality back into skin. Enhanced with rose tone pigments it also gently exfoliates dull skin and stimulates surface cell renewal for a more youthful appearance.
With the woman of the hour, Jamie Kern Lima
Before we went through rooms of bubbles, cotton candy clouds and experienced the products in the most magical of way, Jamie Kern Lima talked about Confidence. I mean look at the visuals of this event (this was the Confidence in a Cream Rosy Tone display):
Confidence was the obvious theme of the event and this collection and something Jamie helps to bring to women everyday. I’m very familiar with her story, it’s no secret she’s in my very short list of inspirational humans (up there with Oprah and Richard Branson) not because of their obvious success but their ability to work hard, innovate, create, and give back. I mean she built this brand out of her living room a decade ago and survived a lot of no’s from retailers that now can’t wait for her to do a public appearance. She also told a story of a private equity firm that was so close to investing in her company at a time when her account was down to $1,000 that pulled out at the 11th hour because they didn’t think women would want to buy products from a woman ‘with your body and your weight’. The irony being she is 1) stunning (I mean fun fact: you’re looking at former Miss Washington people, she also may or may not have won a competition that landed her an appearance on Baywatch), and 2) women and men alike want to buy her products. And kidding aside she’s equally gorgeous on the inside and out. That investment would that have been that companies most successful investment of their portfolio had the deal gone through. She did after all sell It Cosmetics for a mere $1.2 Billion (ahem in cash) to L’Oreal, and was the first female CEO of a L’Oreal brand in it’s 108 year history. And earned a well deserved spot on Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women in 2018, she’s so bad a$$! She’s also just a kind person who has taught me a lot, including the importance of knowing who you are but also knowing who the people in your life are, even when they lose their confidence. And that it’s easy to be on someones team and love them when they are on top but it’s when you’re at your lows and who stands with you that shows real character. That’s been a big lesson for me as I grow. And something I now pay attention to, because while I’m all about women helping women, I’m quickly learning that to most that means a one sided relationship of taking. She’s really opened my eyes to paying attention and also surrounding yourself with wonderful people.
As someone who built a brand, a charity around empowering women, and now a product line where my living room is now a warehouse. You should see my skills at labeling/tagging my straps when I get those Urban Outfitters orders, and have to hand pack them by myself. Lets just say any (wo)man that can take a living room enterprise and turn it into what Jamie has done is unfathomable. So when she talks about confidence, overcoming ‘no’s’, believing in yourself, your gut, we should all listen. When she talks about about how we all need to overcome those negative thoughts, we should listen. She’s also exceptional at surrounding herself with really smart, creative, wonderful people.
Also something we’re both big on is taking care of your skin and body. She created the top skincare brand for ALL skin types but especially sensitive skin. Do you know how hard that is? Especially a decade ago, she literally blows my mind.
I love the existing Confidence collection and I’m so happy to see it grow with these new products and watch It Cosmetics expand to new countries and markets. Congratulations to the It team!
Empowering messages, chic packaging and strong, beautiful pigment lipsticks… welcome Fempower Beauty Virtumatte Lipstick. A range of four universally flattering lipsticks with black magnetic packaging, strong pigment, that go on matte with just a touch of sheen.
Left to right swatches: Lilith (red), Eve (pink), Adam (nude brown), Serpent (true brown).
I love a bright pink and what I call a “happy red”, one that pops my lips but isn’t too dark so I look all vamp. I’ve been rocking these two shades nonstop!
The brand circles around empowerment, strength and giving back. Check them out at fempowerbeauty.com
First came candles, then fragrances and now NEST Fragrances has launched a new range of eight innovative products exclusive to Ulta. NEST Fragrances innovative, new body care line boasts patented technologies to deliver a long-lasting fragrance experience to shape and elevate a mood. And are formulated free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, and mineral oil.
The range features four scents: Bamboo & Jasmine to help you stay balanced, Ginger & Neroli to invigorate, Grapefruit & Verbena to elevate happiness and Ocean Mist & Coconut to calm.
Each set of fragrances is available in Body Wash (10oz/$22), Body Lotion (10oz/$26), Body Mist (3.4oz/$38 and 0.27/$20), Hand Cream (3.4oz/$18), Lip Balm SPF 15 Sunscreen (0.15oz/$16), Water-Activated Foaming Cleansing Towelettes ($22/pack of 10 individually wrapped), and Fragranced Body Wipes ($22/pack of 8 individually wrapped wipes).
Makes a great gift! How chic is a Body Wash and Body Lotion set? Bamboo & Jasmine is my favorite.
It’s been six weeks since I posted this photo on Instagram announcing I was testing out TRU NIAGEN, and I’m happy to announce the results today!
As many of you know, I had a milestone birthday this year and one of my commitments was to take better care of mind and body. When TRU NIAGEN approached me, I did a ton of research including consulting my Naturopathic Doctor, Dr Nadia (@_drnadia). She encouraged me to try it, telling me that NAD research was fascinating and her clients have had great results. And believe me, I’m excited about TRU NIAGEN.
With stellar reviews (I mean if you Google it, the internet is obsessed), TRU NIAGEN is an ‘age better, live better’ supplement that contains a unique form of vitamin B3 proven to increase NAD levels..
NAD is essential for healthy cellular function and aids in our body’s metabolism (converting food to energy at the cellular level). This molecule helps our cells produce energy to keep them functioning at their best. As we age, our NAD levels decline due to certain stressors. TRU NIAGEN is clinically-proven to safely increase NAD levels. And an added bonus is the pills are vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, and caffeine-free.
Now I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a vegetarian, which generally means I am vitamin-deficient, but I had a crazy, amazing experience with TRU NIAGEN from day one. I’ve tried other holistic ways in the past to boost my health, including vitamin B12 shots and various supplements and not seen a quarter of the results these two little pills supply. From the first day I started taking TRU NIAGEN I noticed a measurable difference in my energy levels.
Usually, I burn out around 6-8pm when the sun goes down and have a lethargic heaviness weighing me down. Since taking TRU NIAGEN, I blow right through my usual down time with sustained energy provided by my happy cells.. Even more impressive is that I take the supplement in the morning and it amazingly helps keep me on point all day long. Each day I’ve taken the pills, the results wow me. I had read similar reviews online but the skeptic in me didn’t think anything could work so fast. Six weeks later, I call myself the Energizer Bunny. Move over little pink bunny, I’m not slowing down either…
The increased cellular energy and muscle recovery support after working out were noticeable. Some users have reported more physical effects on aging, which I can’t make a full assessment of yet and like all good things, will take time to see. I’ve had an incredibly sleep deprived, stressful month gearing up for some major distribution of my brand, and all I know is that TRU NIAGEN has sustained me through the chaos. This pill is my own little backup charger and I plan on using it for a good long while. Considering we lose up to 50% of our NAD levels between the ages of 40 and 60, giving our cells what they need to keep us from experiencing the decline of age is worth getting on top of sooner rather than later.
I had the best time sharing our top holiday beauty picks on Michael Yo’s SiriusXM show today. Here’s a quick breakdown of tips and sets to have on your radar, that makes gifting stress-free and most importantly FUN! Here are the questions Michael asked and links to the products mentioned (with a few added bonus products in the mix). I attempted to stay under $50 for all my picks.
Our Favorite “It’s Winter, I have Dry Skin” Skincare Sets on a Budget.
To overly simplify moisturizers, there are two types of people, ones who like cream moisturizers (your standard cream formula), and ones that like gel moisturizers (that’s more of a watery gel texture). If the person you’re shopping for has more oily skin then they will generally opt for a gel moisturizers. Don’t worry if you don’t know their skin type or texture preference, I picked universal favorites for both categories that are almost-all skin type friendly!
Our picks for winter skincare regimens that includes a hydrating cream moisturizer:
Our picks for winter skincare regimen sets that includes a hydrating gel moisturizer:
OTHER WINTER FAVORITES: The Mario Badescu facial sprays linked to below are such a deal and an amazing pick me up when your skin is feeling dry, tired and needs a pick me up. Dr. Jart Ceramide is perfect if you’re super dry and their Cicapair collection is for anyone that gets red. LaNeige lip sleep mask is another amazing pick and has an epic cult following. Their new Sleep Mask kit includes some limited edition flavors we rarely see and for only $28 for the whole set, it’s a steal. Lastly we LOVE Drunk Elephant, we went over budget with this set but it includes their Babyfacial which is our favorite! Lastly, Aquaphor or as I like to call it Aqua-for-all, makes a great stocking stuffer. You can use it for everything winter chapped skin and lips. It’s also great on cuticles, dry patches… While I don’t recommend it as a moisturizer, it is an awesome barrier if you’re combating wind, especially while skiing/snowboarding and can be used over your moisturizer/SPF when you need a shield.
Whether it’s a hostess gift, Secret Santa or little something something for someone in the office you don’t know well enough to guess their favorite beauty products, candles, hand cream sets, pretty lip balms and liquid soap + moisturizer sets are always a safe bet. Basically anything that’s practical but also pretty that bonus they can re-gift if the don’t it it or use to stage a beautiful bathroom for guests to admire you can’t go wrong with. Plus they go well on their own or with a bottle of wine/champagne to say thank you for inviting me to your home. Tocca, Fresh, L’Occitane, C.O. Bigelow, Molton brown, Nest, and Diptyque are great go-tos for this (although the latter may be out of budget if we’re staying under $50). Tocca won holiday gifting for me, Click HERE for the full assortment. They have so many cute hand cream trio sets, fragrance and mini candle gift sets for under $20 that are so feminine, elegant and look and feel expensive in every way except their the price tag. Fresh has a ton of cute lip treatment sets (tinted and untinted) that have a major cult following. L’Occitane is not short on hostess gifts based on your budget but their $15 ornaments that feature their mini hand cream (which is the BEST!), shower gel and moisturizers are so cute. Molton Brown everything… they have cute ornament shower gels for $15 but their deluxe sets and Diptyque candles might run you a pretty penny. Another favorite is Nest candles (they also have gorgeous fragrances), which are more affordable. They launched a pop-up shop in Nolita if you find yourself in NYC. And speaking of NYC icons, C.O. Bigelow lip salve tins are the best stocking stuffers and under $8. They also have loads of great hostess gifts. If you’re based in NYC head to their store in the West Village. It’s the oldest apothecary in the US and a true piece of NYC history.
I’m going a little rogue on my first hair picks and choosing a microfiber towel. I’m partial to the Aquis brand, mainly because I used the same one for almost a decade before replacing it and even then, my original still works great. I only got a new one because I graduated mine to my rescue dog when he had hair issues. In a nut shell towels are way too trough on our strands especially if you aggressively move a towel around your scalp/strands to dry it. It causes breakage and a Micorfiber towel will fix that. It’s very important for people with fine hair concerns but I love when I gift them to my curly haired friends because they notice such a difference when it comes to tightness of the curl and frizz I always get an epic reaction of enjoyment.
Next, the Lunata Hair 1″ wireless and rechargable flat iron styler. THIS IS EVERYTHING if you flat iron your hair. We all have our go to flat iron whether it be T3, Chi, Sutra, GHD, Hot Tools, however they all have one limitation… a cord. AKA you need an outlet to plug it in to work. Enter Lunata, the 2nd flat iron every flat iron-er should own. It’s cordless, meaning you can straighten your hair at the gym, on an airplane, elevator, Uber ride or anywhere else to your heart’s content. It’s super chic and $150, over the $50 budget I was going for but I don’t care because it deserves it’s moment in the sun.
Sephora takes out the guess work our when it comes to gifting beauty products. They themed a vast variety of their top selling brands they carry across makeup, hair, skincare and fragrance at all different price points at great values making them a perfect choice. Unfortunately our top Sephora Favorites pick, the Sephora Favorites Skin Wonderland is sold out online. These are all going fast so when they say limited edition they mean it! You can always try in store but order yours sooner than later if you see one you like.
A few Sephora Favorite sets to pay special attention to if the person you’re shopping for loves pink to red tone lipsticks is the Give Me More Lip set is on sale for $47 ($212 value) and includes 14 lippies from brands including YSL, NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, Marc Jacobs and more. If they love highlighters (and strobing is in their vocabulary), the Glow For It Kit is $28 ($55 value) features 5 top selling products from Artist Couture, Benefit, Cover FX, Fenty and Milk Makeup.
What about Fragrance?
Fragrance is a deeply personal purchase. I can give some basic advice like if you like earthy (in a cool, chic, non-hippy way) then check out Commodity, I also love Raw Spirit. If rich, sexy fragrance is your thang then Tom Ford. Nest has great winter scents, and Tocca wins our feminine, pretty fragrance award. But honestly your best bet is to either see what she already wears and try to buy a roller-ball version or travel size as a stocking stuffer, or full-size IF she is running low. If she’s not, then don’t bother restocking since fragrance can take a long while to burn through. Not to push Sephora Favorites again BUT they have 3 fragrance sets that are PERFECT for the fragrance lover and/or someone looking to find their perfect scent because offer samplers that include a voucher that can be turned in for your favorite scent of the group. The first is the SEPHORA FAVORITES Perfume Sampler which is $25 and features 6 sample size fragrances to try and then you can redeem the voucher included for the travel size version of your favorite. The SEPHORA FAVORITES Deluxe Perfume Sampler ($75, $140 value) features prestige fragrances from Tom Ford, Versace, Viktor+Rolf, Tory Burch, Kat Von D, D&G, and Elizabeth and James, in their stunning packaging and again you get to turn in the voucher for your favorite only this time it’s a full-size product. Lastly for the boys, they have the same option with the SEPHORA FAVORITES Cologne Sampler ($65, $101 value), where they gift 10 scents and then your favorite pick can be redeemed with the voucher for a full-size cologne.
Some quick advice and tips to help you navigate the beauty space:
Sephora and Ulta are my favorite places to shop, followed by Nordstrom. They all get amazing exclusives from the brands at major values, you’re not going to see at any other retailer. What I like about Ulta/Sephora is their team members are there to help you unbiasedly pick gifts based on your budget/needs, where as a department stores have counters so each representative reps one brand and is not likely to cross promote. That does work in your favor if you have specific brands you want to go for.
Most prestige brands don’t discount during the year or have sales so this is the time to shop and get some amazing value sets with extra products in them.
If you have a specific brand the person you’re shopping for loves, whether it be Kiehl’s, Fresh, It Cosmetics or L’Occitane, go to their website in advance to see what sets they are offering and if anything looks appealing. Websites, especially Ulta and Sephora’s are a good place to start even if you’re picking up in-store because they organize the gifts offerings by price (i.e. top gifts under $50, $25…) or category (skincare, makeup, fragrance…) so you get some idea of your options before getting lost or overwhelmed in store. You can also read reviews which are very helpful.
Also the websites all have “GIFT” tabs up since it tis the season to shop! Click it, check out the value, packaging and if what’s included seems practical. Words like “top sellers” are usually a crowd pleaser.
Don’t be afraid to be creepy. And by creepy I mean take photos of the products in their makeup case and/or bathroom. I can tell a lot about a person and what products they will like based on the shades they pick or products they already use. Chances are a good sales person will too and can give you advice accordingly.
Gift with a gift receipt or keep the receipt in case you fail… it’s the thought that counts! And they will have no problem finding something to exchange the gift for if needed.