Do you remember when Siobhan introduced us to Skincando back in the early days? Skincando remains a player in our world of clean skincare companies we love, and we’re happy to put them back in the spotlight with a special Friday Deal. Here’s the deal:

Skincando is offering 20% off and free shipping through Wednesday, August 27th. No code necessary, just shop and go!

You know it’s time to do a Friday Deal when the moment you mention a company Alexandra starts gushing about how their balm is a daily staple. We asked her to share what makes Skincando the jam.

So, I’ve been meaning to write a review of the Combat Balm for several months. But because the deal is happening RIGHT NOW, I’m going to try to summarize my love for this product. I’m on my third jar and I use it diligently every single day. I am a balm fanatic, as some of you know: There was a time when I would have squandered all my savings on Tammy Fender’s balm, and I will happily use a quality lip balm right on my face. This though, has been my one and only, and my hands-down favorite. It goes on a little thick (which I like) and leaves skin looking dewy NOT greasy. I mix it with my foundation for the most glorious, photoshopped-face effects. Everything about this balm makes me happy, even the fact that it contains fish oil (sorry, to the strict vegan crew) because I’m pretty sure that’s why it nourishes my skin in a way I’ve never experienced. Don’t be confused by the tough-guy, swiss-army knife packaging! (I was—and had a sample that sat for some time in my cupboard before I tried it.) This is a sophisticated clean product at a super fair price—and a downright DEAL today. Happy balming! - Alexandra

Got it? Get it. Also, watch this lovely video about Skincando over on the American Made site. We love seeing artisans at their craft.

Have you tried Skincando? Tell us what you think!

 

Sometimes our best intentions can complicate life. (Of course I want to get up early, but I also want to stay up late! And I’ve been trying to find the time to make this loaf of bread for weeks, but… sheesh. You can relate, I’m sure.) One of our readers, Susannah, wrote to us about this very subject — bumping into logistical challenges in pursuit of health goals — and we aim to help her figure this out. We’re recruiting you, too. Here’s the challenge:

Please help! I have just started a new exercise program and aim to attend every weekday – the only downfall is I am a SWEATY SWEATY girl and all this health and fitness is ruining my hairdo. I have long, thickthickthick curly hair and I used to wash only 1-2 times a week. Now I am either forced to wash daily or wear a sweaty bun all day. I cannot forgo washing and just rinse either because I air dry my hair and that can take all night long. Dry shampoo only takes me so far because I literally have to blow dry the sweat from my hair beforehand, and I can’t really comb the dry shampoo through either because then I am left with a frizzy, yucky mess. Am I alone in this or are there other sweaty girls out there trying to get fit and have nice hair at the same time? 

What’s a lady to do? We know some of you must have already found the ideal strategy for this lifestyle conundrum. Help a sister out!


Have you tried any skincare products from KYPRIS? This newish natural line has been on our radar, and we’re giving you a chance to be one of the first to try it out. As a line, KYPRIS has been sold for the past two years to the natural medicine market. Just this month after updating their gorgeous packaging, they launched into their first apothecary with BeauTeaBar. (If you haven’t ordered from BeauTeaBar yet, you’ll be delighted with your experience. Promise.)

With ingredients that are 100% natural and nature-derived from plants that are wildcrafted or organic, KYPRIS boasts some serious phytonutrient power. Sustainability is core to their mission, too, and they source ingredients accordingly. For example, the rose oil in the 1,000 Roses elixir is from biodynamically grown roses on an organic certified farm in Bulgaria whose owner works with the United Nations to transition Afghani poppy fields to roses. We have major love for this kind of thinking.

Another aspect of KYRPIS’ sustainability is how they talk about beauty. Says KYPRIS founder Chase Polan, “We don’t talk about or try to sell anyone on the concept of ‘anti aging.’ As a brand, our position is that aging is a privilege and has little to do with what you look like or feel like. So our attentions are more acutely focused on how we can best nourish our patrons’ skin and experience of themselves.” Can I get an amen to that?

To celebrate the launch of KYPRIS at BeauTeaBar, we’re offering one reader the chance to win the KYPRIS Beauty Elixir I – 1,000 Roses!

KYPRIS Beauty Elixir I – 1,000 Roses is full of natural actives that repair signs of environmental damage to deliver a healthy, dewy complexion. The only US-made CoQ10, Vitamin C Ester, a plethora of botanical extracts, and the essential oil of more than 1,000 organic Bulgarian roses are just a few of the ingredients that work to rejuvenate dull, tired skin. The experience doesn’t stop there… the aromatherapeutic benefits of this elixir open the heart chakra and promoting feelings of self-love. Roses forever!

The details: From now until midnight on Friday (like when the clock changes from Thursday to Friday) you can enter to win. You have a few options for how to enter, but the more you complete, the more chances you have to win: follow BeauTeaBar, KYPRIS, or No More Dirty Looks on Twitter, like BeauTeaBar, KYPRIS, or No More Dirty Looks on Facebook, or tweet about it. You’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win the KYRPIS Beauty Elixir I from BeauTeaBar. You’ve got less than 48 hours so get on it! We’ll announce the winner on Friday, August 22.

U.S and Canada residents only.

And the winner is… Kali Langevin! Congrats lady!

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15

Body Piercing: The Clean Beauty Way

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Piercing can and should be a very safe, clean way to enhance your body.  For far more detail than I can cover here, check out Elayne Angel’s The Piercing Bible.  It is a fun read, and is packed with helpful information on the history of piercing, recognizing a quality studio, aftercare alternatives, troubleshooting, details regarding specific types of piercings – everything you need to know and more.  I particularly like the piercee’s bill of rights (also find it here).  There’s no need to be uninformed or intimidated when getting a piercing.

I’m going to tell you a bit about my own range of experiences with piercing, and give you my best advice for healing without toxic and irritating chemicals, or risking potentially dangerous infection.  Whether you want a simple lobe piercing or something more bold, it’s worth knowing the ropes.

Clean beauty and piercing go together rather naturally for me these days.  It wasn’t always so.  When I received my first basic lobe piercings over 30 years ago, I was told to clean the piercings daily with alcohol, whilst twisting the jewelry in its hole.  This seriously makes me shudder now, and it’s no wonder I had trouble on and off with those piercings for decades.  In those days, if you wanted a piercing your options were limited.  Like me, you probably went to your local mall and an essentially unskilled salesperson used a piercing gun to shove a cheap piece of jewelry through your earlobes.  And then you were given that aforementioned bad advice on how to “care” for your piercings.  In college, I made the adventurous choice (for Michigan in the mid-1980s) to get a cartilage piercing in my ear.  It was still the gun method.  Ouch.  My senior year in college, I wanted my nose pierced, and I knew of nowhere to get it done.  The concept of the piercing studio did exist then, on the west coast, but I’d never heard of it.  So my nursing student friend helped me (a biology student) do it – at least we knew something about sterilization.  Please understand, I am in no way advocating for do-it-yourself piercing, but I will say my nose piercings healed better than anything I’ve had done with a gun.

These days, of course, one can find a piercing studio in any decent sized city, and that’s exactly what you should do if you want a piercing.  DON’T go to the mall, and certainly DON’T DIY.

My first studio piercing was in my navel, after I’d moved to California and learned such places existed.  This was in the early 1990s, and the aftercare advice was better but still involved some intentional wiggling of the jewelry.  In the last several years, I’ve had many wonderful piercing experiences at studios, and learned good aftercare techniques from talented and skilled piercers.  At 19 total piercings, I think I’ve learned enough to pay it forward.  Remember, you are putting a wound in your body that will need to heal.  This is deserving of some serious thought and effort.

Piercing 101:

1.  Choose a reputable studio with gold standard safety conditions.  If you do your research and choose wisely, the rest of the pieces of the piercing puzzle should fall together easily.  There should be an autoclave (sterilizer) on the premises, gloves and sharps (needle disposal) containers within easy reach of your piercer, etc.  Check out The Piercing Bible for more detail.  The studio’s webpage should have the essential info, and you can ask them for more information about their safety standards.  If they don’t want to answer your questions, don’t get pierced there.  Likewise, if they are willing to break rules like doing underage piercing, don’t get pierced there.  Online reviews may prove insightful as well.

2.  Choose a skilled, professional piercer whose asthetic you appreciate.  If you chose your studio well, you are likely to get a good piercer.  But everyone has a different style, and you should be able to check out a portfolio online.  After many years between piercings, I asked a student of mine with many well-placed and beautifully healed facial piercings for advice.  She steered me to Lysa Taylor, a lovely gal and excellent professional at Industrial Tattoo and Piercing in Berkeley, CA.  I’ve been through several piercings and jewelry changes with Lysa, and I highly recommend her if you are in the Bay Area.  My favorite piercer in Vancouver, BC, Canada is the badass teddy bear Rick Gilmour*, owner of Adorned Precision Body Arts.  You will walk out of Adorned feeling informed and beautiful.

my double tragus (left) is brand new from Rick at Adorned

my double tragus (left) is brand new from Rick at Adorned

3.  Choose quality jewelry appropriate for your piercing.  If you choose a good studio and piercer you will likely end up with proper jewelry.  I just really can’t emphasize the jewelry point enough, though.  Initial piercings are generally done with surgical steel or titanium and all parts of the jewelry should be very smooth, even microscopically.  Internally threaded or press-in ends are both good choices, and sometimes a captive bead ring, depending on your piercing.  If you can’t afford good jewelry at a reputable studio, do not get pierced.  Save up your money and do it right, with no regrets.  With some of my old gun piercings, putting in a quality piece of jewelry and leaving it the heck alone was all that was necessary to put an end to years of issues.  Expect to eventually purchase a shorter post or smaller ring – initial jewelry must accommodate swelling.  Your piercer will tell you when you’ll need to downsize.

4.  Use best practices in aftercare.  There are slight variations on what that means, and if you’ve picked your studio and piercer wisely, listen to what they tell you.  If you are a novice piercee, they should talk you through aftercare.  You’ll be sent home with a pamphlet and/or access instructions on their website.   The one conflict I’ve experienced with my two fave studios is the use of sea salt (or not).  I’ve done just fine using sea salt soaks/sprays, though it’s not my top choice (see below).  Basically, keep harsh or scented products away from your piercing and don’t touch it except while caring for it, and then only with clean hands.  Make sure all clothing and bed linens are clean and not irritating your piercing.  To avoid pressure on my ear piercings, I like to sleep on a curved travel pillow, with my ear resting in the empty spot where the neck would typically be.  Note that genital and oral piercings will have their own set of aftercare instructions, but the following covers most piercings.  Different piercing locations have different healing times.  Your piercer will tell you how long you need to keep it up.  There are no short cuts.  If you don’t heal properly it will only take longer.

  • Once a day, and best in the shower, lather some unscented Dr. Bronner’s (or similar) in your hands.  Gently lather both sides of the piercing site to remove any secretions, and rinse well.  Don’t move the jewelry.  If you move the jewelry before it’s darn good and ready (that is, well on its way to healing), you are probably ripping off the brand new layers of cells that were healing the site.  Then you are just starting all over again.  Remember, you are not trying to get the soap inside the piercing, just keep the outside area clean.
  • Once out of the shower, spray a good rinsing product and pat the excess dry with a paper towel (keep reusable towels away from fresh piercings, they can harbor bacteria).  My favorite rinse is SimpleCare, which is soothing, anti-inflammatory, and easy to spray on.  Saline solution works too.  Salt water or tea soaks are often recommended, but I find the spray more practical.
  • Soak chamomile** teabags in hot water (as hot as you can take but not too hot).  Squeeze out the excess liquid and hold the bag, gently, against the piercing.  This step makes a huge difference and really relieves pain from inflammation.  As healing begins, the piercing may become crazy itchy, and the tea relieves this as well.  I hold the bag on until it cools, and do a few cycles of this each night.  Keep some tea around even after you think you don’t need it.  If you should accidentally bump or injure the piercing, this will help.
  • For the first few days after a new piercing, and especially with cartilage piercings, I’ll take a couple of Aleve (or your anti-inflammatory of choice).  This is not essential, and I’m not a fan of overmedicating, but do what you need to to feel comfortable.

If you strictly follow the steps of clean and natural aftercare, you should have little to no trouble with your new piercing.  If you do have a problem, see your piercer.

Do you have a positive, or perhaps instructive, piercing story?  Any recommendations for studios or piercers in your area?

*Rick was actually my inspiration to write a post about piercing.  He is a consummate professional and a strong advocate for natural aftercare.

**Make sure it’s just straight chamomile tea with no fillers, preferrably organic.  Traditional Medicinals makes my fave.

image via

Haut Cosmetics is a new discovery for some of us at No More Dirty Looks. Did you catch Rebecca’s review of the line last week? How about Susannah’s review of the BB Cream? The founder of Haut is sharing her makeup bag, and it’s full of fun tips.

Name: Joanne Lepp

Age: 39

Where I live: White Rock, BC

“Beauty is the dance of life, which every creature is doing. I am communicating that energy to open up people’s hearts and nature is an important message. What it is saying to me is that we need to be in harmony with the planet and protect it and save it. One of the ways is through beauty. Beauty is nature’s operating instructions. It will tell you exactly how to live your life. It motivates you to make the right choices by seducing you through color and taste and smell to do the right things. We are hardwired to protect what we fall in love with. I feel like that is our job as artists is to help people see things that perhaps we do not see on the surface ”

~Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg

My relationship with makeup: I try to be a little creative every morning. I have found that a subtle pop of color goes a long way as I get older! Doing my makeup on the run is painful. It is my morning meditation and a chance to start the day on a colorful note.

Makeup…

HAUT COSMETICS: Purifying Primer –In the summer I love starting out with this product before applying anything else. It tightens up pores and the Hyaluronic Acid plumps up the skin beautifully. In our BC winter climate I switch to the Coconut Cream.

HAUT COSMETICS: A Fresh Start Brush & Almond BB Cream – I need this product in the morning. It seems to bring skin back to life in the morning. I also love the feeling of a luxury vegan makeup brush on my skin.

HAUT COSMETICS: Brighteners mixed with my new Rasberry Elixir – I love RRSO for its natural SPF of 29-50.  I use the White and Beige Brighteners around my eyes and the Yellow around my nose and mouth.

HAUT COSMETICS: I apply Almond HDD Cream with the Smooth Things Over Brush where extra coverage is needed (sun spots, blemishes etc) followed by a gently pressed application of Almond Bio-foundation to my face and neck.

HAUT COSMETICS: Vintage and Wildflower on eyes –I like to use the Vintage Aloe Cream Tint and Vintage  or Marble Loose Tint together for more intense color and longevity.

SUNCOAT: Sugar Mascara – This mascara is vegan and squeaky-clean! Also, I love and am currently hording three Shu Uemera Eyelash Curlers. I warm my curler up with Chi Elite hair dryer (always test it), curl my lashes and follow with a coat of Clear Bio-cocoa Balm or SUNCOAT mascara.

HAUT COSMETICS: Mauve Magic and He’s The One Aloe Cream Tint – On the upper cheeks the Mauve Magic creates a higher, fuller looking cheek bone and then I follow with a little He’s The One right on the apple of my cheeks for color.

HAUT COSMETICS: Illuminating Loose Tint with Work It Out Brushapplied all around the perimeter of my face, blended well, and then anywhere the sun naturally hits my face for a naturally sun-kissed look.

HAUT COSMETICS: Hide Nothing Lip Glossthis gloss goes on smooth with a nice shine.  With my collection of balms and creams I can create any custom color on lips and then make it glossy color if the mood strikes!

Skin…

HAUT COSMETICS: DHA-Free Caramel Tan – I like to apply this once or twice a week to my face and body for some color.  It also has anti-aging ingredients that give skin a really ‘soft-focus’ glow to go with the healthy color.

Lavanila Laboratories Natural Deodorant—love the light fresh scent but even more that this product actually works.

 HAUT COSMETICS Argan Elixir – If I ever forget this product on a trip I am heartbroken. This multi-purpose oil can be used for everything from a makeup remover to a hair gloss, body oil, makeup cleanser and massage oil. I find the orange citrus scent is a pick-me-up. Sometimes I use this product under my Purifying or Coconut Cream Primer in the morning if I need extra hydration in the Winter time.

Hair…

ANDALOU Hair Shampoo, Conditioner and Body Cleanser in Mandarin Orange Vanilla (addicted to orange).

HAUT COSMETICS Balancing Mist – I use this rosewater mist to refresh my hair and to smooth it if it is going back in a ponytail. My scalp seems to react to everything these days.

WATUKO HEADGEAR –I love how soft these versatile hair pieces are. They are made of Bamboo, Beechwood and Eucalyptus and can be worn like a bandana and a variety of other ways.

Other Necessities….

PACIFICA Indian Coconut Nectar candle and natural perfume smells so yummy and candles relax me.

JOY OF THE MOUNTAINS Oil Of Oregano + Vitamin A – I like to use a drop or two when I do my morning oil pulling or if I feel a cold coming on.

I carry all my makeup brushes with me and the inner makeup artist tells me I need to carry around some makeup balms and tint shades that I do not normally wear myself so that I am always prepared to do someone’s makeup if I get the chance!