Back in April, I thought I had been attacked by fire ants the way that my hands were insatiably itchy. My fingers were red, bumpy, and swollen. TMI? Maybe. But it got to the point where my semi-loose wedding bands would not go on or off. I’m telling you, I spent an evening panicking that we would have to go to the ER to get them sawed off. I ended up just wearing my Qalo ring for weeks. After multiple appointments with doctors and dermatologists, it came down to the fact that I was having chronic dermatitis, a reaction to an ingredient in a product that I have been using. It turns out these kinds of reactions can pop up whenever, even if you have not introduced anything new into your skincare routine.
With the encouragement of my doctor, I switched to a super mild hand cream and began looking into the labels of my products As I started investigating the ingredients in my skincare products, I became totally grossed out. I spent way too much time here and here. I HIGHLY recommend the app, Think Dirty, because you scan your products and learn what is inside.
With some research and encouragement from the following sources, I decided to make a change in the products that I am using.
Thinking about spending money on a brand new routine from head to toe made me cringe, especially because I have used the same foundation for 2 years. BUT when I learned that this foundation has ingredients linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, I am so done with it. I started slowly with three steps:
As someone who spends a lot of time watching YouTube videos on beauty, skincare, and makeup, I worried that I wouldn’t find a “glam” line of makeup that is still safe for my skin and health. Lo and behold, I found Beauty Counter. I was SO impressed with the packaging, the options, the quality of the products, that I immediately reached out to become a consultant with the company. This is a company that I believe in and can stand behind. Not only do they provide quality products that I love, but they also work to create better laws that protect public health from harmful ingredients commonly used in the beauty industry. There is very little regulation in our cosmetic industry, especially compared to countries around the world. To give you an idea of our regulation in the US, our government has a list of 30 ingredients that are banned or restricted from cosmetics. Across the European Union, 1,400 products are banned. Beauty Counter as a company is working towards safer skincare for everyone. I highly encourage you to check it out and shop with me if you so choose! I will answer any questions you may have at email@example.com or in the contact form below!
Yes, the title of this post uses the word “our”. Truth is, our work schedules have FINALLY lined up to where we can go to the gym together most days. We rarely train the same muscle group or do the same workout, but we’re at least nearby each other, so we can chat and ask each other for advice or motivation.
Hip Circle: We use the hip circle primarily during our warm-up for glute activation. It’s especially important to work on glute activation before squats or deadlifts. You can read Zach’s write-up about the hip circle here.
Sling Shot: This is a great tool for teaching proper technique (push-up and bench press). It’s also a method to overload the muscles worked in these movements by use of added weight or extra reps/volume. For example, if I work up to a heavy set of 3, I might put the sling shot on and do that same weight for 5-8 OR add an extra ten pounds for 3 reps.
This Rosy VoxBox went straight into the gym bag, because I can totally use each and every item during/after a workout or a long day at one of Zach’s competition. If you don’t know about Influenster’s VoxBox program, check it out. This website is a great place to get honest reviews on products in categories such as Beauty, Food & Beverage, Pets, Home, Technology, and more.
This Secret Clinical Strength is a great deodorant option. I find myself switching brands every time I need to buy deodorant, because your body can get used to products and they become less effective. It has won a ton of awards and claims to be 4x as effective as other brands. For a constant gym-goer, this is a must have.
No time to style hair after a gym session? This Beach Babe texturizing spray works wonders on my wet hair. Just a tousle, air dry, and I’m ready to go!
Purell Advanced Naturals: This one is kind of a “duh” product. Ever touch a gym mat or dumbbell and you just know you touched someone’s sweat? Worst. feeling. ever. This is the perfect addition to hand-washing during a gym session. Notice I said addition, not replacement for hand-washing : )
Vera Wang Embrace perfumes smell amazing. I never like to carry full-size glass bottles of perfumes in a purse or gym bag. These are easy to travel with, and they have a light scent that’s not too overpowering.
If you’re heading somewhere fun after a workout, you might just need Foot Petals. It takes a little extra support to slip on heels or wedges after a workout, so these help make my already tired feet push through a cute outfit.
Lastly, we keep a decent stock of clean shaker cups and supplements in our gym bag. That way, whatever our plan for the day is, we can fuel up with pre-workout or recover with protein! You can read about my favorites here.
What’s in your gym bag?
I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing & review purposes. All opinions are my own.
I watch a lot (I mean A LOT) of beauty YouTubers and so many of them talk about the Ipsy bag. Pair that with a 9-hour drive to St. Louis over Thanksgiving break, and I’m now a subscriber! My first Ipsy bag came in December, and I won’t be cancelling this subscription anytime soon. For those of you who have not heard of Ipsy, it’s a customized beauty subscription service for $10 a month. You can read more about it here.
I love it, because I find brands that I would never normally seek out. The value of the bag is also way higher than $10, so I feel like I’m getting a bargain and trying new things without breaking the bank. As you review products, tweet about Ipsy, or refer friends, you accumulate points that can be used for more free products!
My February Glam Bag came with 5 products. One is not pictured, because it’s been in my purse since I received the bag!
Other favorites from past bags include:
Ciate London Liquid Velvet. This goes on so smoothly and does not feel like a liquid lipstick. It lasts foooorever!
Aforementioned Hanalei Lip Treatment: This is something I will repurchase for sure! I put it on before bed and wake up with my lips feeling so smooth, hydrated, and still a bit glossy (never sticky).
Pacifica Blushious Coconut & Rose Infused Cheek Color: This is the longest lasting blush I’ve tried. Formerly, I’ve loved Tarte blushes, but this one is so warm and really lasts.
Nyx Cosmetics Butter Lipstick: Nyx cosmetics continue to amaze me. I’ve linked my two other favorite products by Nyx. Throughout my day at work, these are the ones I grab first, because I’m never afraid to go through an entire tube. It’s so affordable!
I’ve already seen the preview for the March bag, and I’m so excited to see the products that are coming! What’s your favorite subscription bag?