Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


The Leibster Blog Award

Thank you to Isabelle at Ginger and Aloe for nominating my blog for the Liebster Blog Award.  I am honoured and thankful for the nomination.

Blog Awards are a great way to share a bit about ourselves with other bloggers.  They are also a great vehicle for paying it forward and calling attention to other fabulous blogs out there.


1) Acknowledge and link back to the blogger who nominated you
2) Answer the 10-11 questions posed by the nominator(s)
3) Nominate 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
4) Create your own 10-11 questions for the nominees
5) Leave a comment on your nominee’s blog that you nominated them

Isabelle’s Questions

1.  Who or what inspired you to start blogging?

I was inspired to start blogging by a good friend of mine.  She wrote a blog for many years and eventually, I decided to jump on the bandwagon.  It has been a great way to share my skin care experiments.

2. What is your favorite make up?
I love the Jane Iredale line.  I also like the All Natural Face.
3. What is your favorite body lotion?
I make my own body lotion.  By far, it’s my favorite. I just can’t find anything else that works as well on my dry skin.
4. What is your favorite fruit?
5. Favorite time of the day to work out?
First thing in the morning.  It gets me going and ready for the day.
6. Favorite drink of the moment?
I love a cup of Hot Lemon Water.
7. What do you think about juice cleanse?
I do a lot of juicing using my Hurom Juice Press.  I think it’s very healthy to incorporate freshly squeezed juices into your daily routine.  I always feel best when I am juicing regularly.
8. Favorite song?
I don’t have one.  I like music, but can never recall the name or artist of a song that I like.  It’s a part of my brain that just doesn’t function…ever.

9. Your favorite place?

My favorite place is home.  Home is with my family, wherever that my be.

10. Favorite inspirational quote?

“Hope is not a plan of action”.

I love this quote.  It’s a reminder to me that I need to make my dreams come true, rather than wait and hope that things turn out how I want.

My Ten Questions

1.  How do you keep your skin clean and fresh?

2.  If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be?

3.  What is your favorite animal?

4.  What is your favorite type of food?

5.  How do you motivate yourself to get difficult tasks done?

6.  How many times do you wash your hair in a week?

7.  Who do you admire the most and why?

8.  What is your favorite brand of make up?

9.  What is the one word that describes you the best?

10.  What is your favorite book?

And the Nominees Are:

Zen in the Big City 

Little Steps

Day Dreaming on a Dime

Tomatoes and Jasmine 

Green For Baby 

Please take a moment to visit these five fabulous blogs!  I’ve enjoyed each of them and I hope you will too!


Tag, You’re It – It’s This or That Beauty Tag!

Beauty Tag

Beauty Tag

Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

Just before I went to bed last night, I saw that I’d been tagged in a fun beauty game by Tianna at StorybookApothecary.  I went to sleep thinking about all the great beauty tips everyone has to share through a fun game of tag, like this one!   

Thanks so much to Tianna at StorybookApothecary for thinking of me!

The Q&As are great and I encourage you to read both Tianna’s and D’s at SweetJellyBean (D. tagged Tianna yesterday!). You never know, you might read about the perfect beauty must-have product that you never knew about! 🙂

1. Blush Or Bronzer? Most days, I would go without both.  For special days, a little bit of blush is just what I need to brighten up my complexion.  I like a pressed blush.  I’ve found the cream blushes way too strong for my skin.

2. Lipstick or Lipgloss? For the most part, lipstick.  I almost never the house without a good dose of colour on my lips. My favorite right now is Halle by Jane Iredale.  In a bind, a tinted lip gloss can stand in for my trusty lipstick.  However, I’m definitely not a fan of the sticky glosses that you tend to find out there.  I’ve started making my own glosses, but have yet to perfect the recipe…

3. Chapstick or Lip Butter? Lip Butter!  I make my own and I would never turn back.  It’s so easy to combine a few oils a bit of wax to make the perfect lip butter for yourself.  Once I learned how to make my own, I got rid of all my store-bought lip moisturizers.

4. Matte or Sparkle Eyeshadow? Matte eyeshadow for me.  I like to keep my makeup fairly low-key and matte colours do the trick for me in that department.  If I’ve got a special occasion to attend, on the other hand, I wouldn’t put it past me to whip out a little bit of sparkle!

5. Gel, Liquid, Cream or Pencil Liner? I tend to stick to the basics when it comes to eye liner.  I’m just not skilled enough to use the liquid or gel liners!  Pencils work for me!  I just started using a new powdered eyeliner from Jane Iredale.  It’s definitely a bit more challenging to apply than a regular pencil, but I love the different effects you can get with it!

6. Foundation or Concealer? I use concealer daily.  Right up there with my lipstick, I don’t leave the house without it.  I just dab a bit on under my eyes to even out my skin and it does the trick.  Right now, I’m using a concealer from Jane Iredale (can you tell I LOVE her line of makeup?!) and it blends really well into my skin without looking flaky.

7. Liquid or Powder Foundation? I used to use powder religiously.  However, after I made the switch to safer makeup products, I found that I could go with out.  You won’t find any foundation or powder in my makeup bag now!

8. Neutral or Statement Eye? I love the smoky eye look.  It’s my favorite, by far.  Even so, I tend to stick with the low-key smoky eye, even for special occasions.  It lets me stick to what I know!

9. Pressed or Loose Shadows? I like the pressed shadows.  They are less messy and easier to apply.  I always find I use way too much product with a loose shadow!

10. Waterproof or Non-Waterproof? I stay away from waterproof and try my best not to cry!

11. Brushes, Sponges or Fingers? Fingers.  I have the best control of the makeup (read: concealer) I’m patting on when I use my hands.  A brush or sponge just confuses the whole process for me!

12. Powder, Cream or Liquid Highlighters? I’ve never actually used a highlighter!  Can you believe it?  I guess I’ll have to experiment with it one day and let you all know how it goes!

♥ Spill your beauty secrets! (Additional Q for you by D (♥

Can’t Live Without Skincare Product?

So hard to choose!  I really depend on my lip scuff.  It’s another homemade product of mine that I use day and night.  It keeps my lips soft and supple, avoiding any dry skin whatsoever.  When I’m running low, it’s a bit of a crisis in my house!

Favorite Makeup Blusher?

Can you guess?  I’m in  love with Jane Iredale products these days!  And that goes for the pressed blush too!

Take-it-with-me-always beauty product?

My lipstick.  The colour is Halle by Jane Iredale.  It goes with me all the time.  The lipstick feels great on my lips…it’s moisturizing and it isn’t sticky!  What more could you ask for?

Bonus Question from Tianna @StorybookApothecary!

What Is One Beauty Item You’re Willing To Splurge On Even Though It’s Expensive?

Having just started using the Nourish Face Oil from Suti, I think I might be hooked!  I absolutely love the scent and the texture of this oil blend.  I’d have a hard time justifying buying it since I regularly make my own face oil.  On the other hand, my oil just isn’t as luxurious as this one!  Stay tuned for a post on my Suti stash soon!

Bonus Question from Alia @AuNaturelEssence!

What is the one beauty product you could do without for a week?  If you absolutely had to give one thing up, what would it be?

This is a tough one for me.  I’ve really paired down my makeup routine to the bare basics, so it’s hard to know what I could do without.  Perhaps it’s my mascara.  I do love the volume it gives to my lashes.  However, if forced to make a sacrifice, I think I could live without it!

And Now, It’s Time for Tag-sies!

Related Articles:

Beauty Confessions – This or That Tag – You’re It!

Something Fun: This or That, Beauty Tag – You’re It!

Tag: This or That!

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Pink Thinkin’ Hard at Work

It’s no secret that I take issue with companies that engage in pinkwashing.  That is, using the pink ribbon campaign to their advantage while continuing to support practices that contribute to breast cancer.  There are many examples of pinkwashing, especially in October.

Fortunately, there are lots of examples of great applications of the Pink Ribbon campaign and I’ve been lucky enough to find a couple.

Clean Campaigns

Jane Iredale contributes to Living Beyond Breast Cancer.  The Jane Iredale line appears to me to use only natural products and avoids ingredients that have been linked to cancer.  The only make-up I use these days is from Jane Iredale and I love it.  For that reason, I would feel comfortable supporting the Jane Iredale cosmetic company in their Pink Ribbon efforts.

I recently saw an advertisement for a free online summit that is dedicated to healing cancer.  It’s the 2nd Annual Healing Cancer World Summit.  What I liked about the ad was that it touted all kinds of remedies, including some more natural treatments.  Now, I don’t know how effective those would be.  I DO like the fact that there are folks out there who are willing to spend their time spreading their knowledge without charging.

Bright Pink

Bright Pink

Just yesterday, Tianna at Story Book Apothecary told me about Acure Organics.  This company is dedicated to using the, “purest, most effective fair trade, natural and organic ingredients available”.  Not only do they use great ingredients in their products, they also provide a list of ingredients to avoid that are found in other skin care products.  Acure partners with Bright Pink to support the search for a cure for cancer.  For example, Acure Organics donates $1.00 to Bright Pink for each Argan Oil and Oil Control Day Cream they sell.   Bright Pink is a national non-profit organization that focuses on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer.  This is a great example of a partnership between a company that walks the talk and also financially supports an organization dedicated to the search for a cure for cancer.

What cancer or breast cancer campaigns do you support?


Product Review – Mystikol Eyeliner – Jane Iredale

I made the switch to mineral makeup at the beginning of this year.

Six months prior to that, I had stopped using makeup altogether.  While that saved me a lot of time in the morning and gave me piece of mind that I wasn’t caking unnecessary chemicals onto my skin on a regular basis, I truly missed having a nice lipstick to use for special occasions!

So, I was quite delighted when my sister introduced me to the Jane Iredale line of cosmetics.  I’ve been using them diligently for the past several months and have loved it!

Mystikol Eyeliner by Jane Iredale

Last week, I picked up a Mystikol Eyeliner in onyx.  For some reason , eyeliner was the one part of my makeup routine that I had not yet switched over to a safer option.  As expected, I have not been disappointed! The Mystikol eyeliner is great.

The eyeliner is great for thin or thick lines and it goes on really easy without pulling your skin.  Best of all, the other end of the stick has a highlighter that you can use under your brow.  I love it!

This truly rounds out my collection of mineral makeup. I can officially say goodbye to unnecessary chemicals in my makeup now!


Switching to Mineral Makeup

After reading No More Dirty Looks, There’s Lead in Your Lipstick, and Not Just a Pretty Face last year, I ditched all of my regular makeup. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to survive, but I knew enough to know that I didn’t want to put those chemical-laden products on my face anymore. It wasn’t pretty…

My old make up routine

I had a regular morning routine like many of you. In getting ready for work every morning, I would carefully apply eye shadow, blush, and of course, lipstick. On important days, I’d add a bit of eye liner and maybe even some mascara. On top of everything, to ensure an even look, I’d puff on the powder. I didn’t use a lot of any one item, but I did it every day. It doesn’t take a lot of product to add a lot of synthetics to your skin.

No more chemical-laden products

I went away for a little vacation for about a week last summer. When I came back, I couldn’t stomach the thought of more makeup. I’d been doing a lot of reading and I knew that my regime wasn’t the best for me. So, I stopped. I went back to work after my time off with no makeup whatsoever. I felt a bit naked for the first few days. But, before I knew it, I actually enjoyed the new look. I had less to do in the morning and my skin felt cleaner (go figure!).  Except for a few special days, my new routine worked well.

Those special occasions…

It was fine, except for those special occasions, like the day when I had to get a professional photo taken or when I was co-hosting a fundraising event, or the Christmas party! I broke down. I dug out what was left of my old regime and brushed it on. Except for all of the chemicals, it was just what I needed for those special days. The photos came out great, I looked the part of a fundraiser host, and I was ready for the Christmas party. If nothing else, it confirmed that I needed to find a solution that would work for me.

My new regime of natural makeup

My sister-in-law had recognized my dilemma. She herself has been using natural products for much longer than me. She first gently suggested and then Natural Makeupprodded and finally reminded me again about the line that she uses. She recommended the Jane Iredale line of makeup. After the New Year’s Eve party (when she saw me once again drag out my old makeup) we went to the store together and she showed me all of the lovely options that this line offers. This line doesn’t include any parabens or extra chemicals. It uses minerals and has not been tested on animals. Could it get any better? Yes…the products rate very well on the Skin Deep site.  And one last thing, they smell great!

I left with a beautiful bag full of goodies. Thanks to my lovely sister-in-law, I am now equipped with eye shadow, mascara, lip stick, rouge and a few other luxuries. I’m not convinced that I will start wearing makeup every day just yet, but I definitely feel ready for the next special event that I get to attend!