My (Much Safer) Skincare Collection


whoorl skincare collection

The makeup drawer is complete, so let’s talk about skincare. Finding skincare that suits you is challenging enough in the first place, never mind trying to find safe, good-for-you skincare that doesn’t harbor nasty ingredients. As you can imagine, this endeavor took me a bit longer than the makeup project. My unwavering adoration of Olay Daily Facial Cloths was intense. I mean, I used them for years and years, and figured someone would have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands. However, I persevered. They are officially goners. (psst – they are not good for you.)

Without further ado, here is my skincare routine. I have used all of these products for several months, so I’m past the newlywed phase and know they work well. The ones with the asterisks are my holy grail products.


Be Natural Organics Rose Hip Seed Facial Cleanser* (EWG Score 0) – This has to be my favorite find of the lot. One of the reasons I loved the Olay Daily Cloths is that they removed all makeup, eyeliner, and mascara easily, and I didn’t have to use another product. Nothing makes me crazier than washing my face, looking up, and seeing traces of eye makeup under my eyes. Grrrrrrrrr. This cleanser is amazing because it takes every trace of my makeup off, but doesn’t have any chemicals in it. For real – the ingredients are purified water, olive oil, rose hip seed oil, sea kelp extract, and acai fruit extract. Yep, that’s it. It smells amazing, and still manages to sud a little bit when I rub it in my hands. I love this stuff. Truly, can’t say enough about it.

Beautycounter Routine Clean Cream Cleanser (EWG Rating 2) – While the above cleanser is my go-to every night, I like to use this cream cleanser with my Clarisonic during morning showers. The creamy consistency stays on the face while you use the Clarisonic, and it’s very soothing.

Beautycounter Nourishing Cleansing Balm* (EWG Rating 2) – Oh, man. Run, don’t walk. You have GOT to try this product. It’s an all-in-one product that I use on nights when I don’t want to use anything else. (Especially good for lazy nights when you just can’t be bothered to get up and wash your face at the sink.) It’s a really lovely balm that you rub all over your face with your fingers, and then wipe off with a washcloth or cleansing cloth. It doubles as a moisturizer, so you don’t need to rinse any of the remaining balm off your face, and (and!) you can use it as a mask, as well. If your face is super dry and flaky, just put this on and let it do its magic overnight. Take that, Old Man Winter. (Which, seriously, I can’t take the dryness, people. I completely forgot what it was like to live in a place with actual winters. A bunch of bull honkey, if you ask me.)


Uma Anti-Aging Face Oil* (EWG Rating 0) – I professed my love for Uma Oils here, but I just have to reiterate how amazing these oils are again. They somehow manage to give my face the moisture it needs without breaking me out or making my uber-sensitive skin freak out. I use the Anti-Aging Face Oil every night after washing my face with the rose hip seed cleanser. Just four drops warmed up in the palm of my hand is all I need – I lightly pat it all over my face and neck. Smells beautiful and I swear my skin is glowier (that is surely not a word) than ever.

Uma Skin Brightening Face Oil* (EWG Rating 0) – Okay, okay, if the the above doesn’t make you want to try the oils, let me tell you about the Brightening Oil. I use this in the morning all over my face (in the same manner as the other oil), and then sparingly use my tinted moisturizer on areas of my face that need some coverage. (Usually around the nose and mouth.) This combo makes my skin look so radiant, if I do say so myself. I can’t tell you how many years I tried to find a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or highlighter that would make my skin look dewy. Turns out all I needed was this oil.

Beautycounter PM Hydrating Cream (EWG Rating 2) – In the rare event that I don’t use one of the Uma oils on my face, the moisturizer is tops. If oils aren’t your cup of tea, and would rather use a lotion/cream, this is fab. It’s moisturizing, but still lightweight. Great for year-round, unless you are super duper dry, then I would go with this.


Olay Complete Sunscreen SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin (EWG Rating 4) – So this moisturizer scores a 4, which is high for me, but I really like it in the warmer months when the sun is strong. It protects my face without stinging or making my skin rage.

Beautycounter Protect Face SPF 30 (EWG Rating 1) – Another great, simple sunscreen in my arsenal. I do find that I have trouble with even application at times. It can apply a bit blotchy, but nothing a little elbow grease can’t remedy.


Beautycounter Gentle Exfoliator* (EWG Rating 2) – It’s so important to exfoliate your skin, even if you are sensitive like yours truly. I use this 2-3/week, and it keeps my skin fresh. I can’t tolerate a lot of exfoliating products, but this one is great. It’s gentle, but still gets the job done.

Beautycounter Enlightening Treatment Pads (EWG Rating 1) – Newsflash – I’m forty, and probably need to add a little something extra to keep my fine lines, wrinkles, and pores under control. I use these pads once a week (on a day that I’m not exfoliating) to refine my skin. They have a fruit acid complex that delivers antioxidants, and it also feels a little zing-zang on my skin, which I like. (“zing-zang” = tingly)

Makeup Remover:

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn – Wrote about it here. Great product, and only has three ingredients.

Body Moisturizers:

If you are looking for a new body moisturizer, there are tons of fantastic recs for lotions here and oils here from my Facebook page.

Everyone Body Lotion, Unscented* (EWG Rating 2) – This is my favorite lotion in the world, for three seasons out of the year. Screaming from the rooftops on this one – no scent (I’m not a scent girl), yet doesn’t smell weird. (You know how some unscented things smell, well, weird? Not this one.) I love it…yet it doesn’t hack it in the wintertime. Sad face.

NOW Sweet Almond Oil (EWG Rating 0) – Since I’m experiencing my first winter in 12 years, my skin is like HELL TO THE NO. I’m currently using this oil after showering to keep the moisture in. This oil smoothes over my skin easily, and has a very mild scent scent. (It doesn’t smell like almonds.)

Eucerin Original Healing Soothing Repair Lotion (EWG Rating 4) – This is nice, thick lotion to use during the colder months. I use this one on my kids too. Please pay attention to the name of this one – other Eucerin products are not as safe and score much higher on the EWG database.

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream* (EWG Rating 0) – You guys. Holy grail product. I am so thankful for those of you who recommended this to me. This is a wonder product for really dry skin, rashes, and red patches. It’s not really a cream, though. It’s more of a balm – you need to rub it between your palms to warm it up and make it spreadable, but when you do, it fixes everything. I practically slather my kiddos in it – Wito has had a rough time with his skin this winter, as he scratches and scratches until the skin breaks all over his thighs and mid-section. At night, I rub this all over his body. (It’s actually hilarious…he always asks, “is this really Egyptian MAGIC?” Yes, buddy, I guess it is. I can’t recommend this product enough.


A word of caution about switching from traditional aluminum anti-perspirants to natural deodorants. It’s a process – you will feel wetness occasionally since you are no longer forcing the sweat to stay inside your body, but I promise you will never look back. Especially with the smell issue. When I used traditional scented (or unscented) anti-perspirants, I hated the way I smelled. It was so fake, and almost acrid in a chemical fragrance kind of way. Now? No scent at all. Even when I’m sweating. It’s just neutral and non-offensive and well, natural. Really, I invite you to smell my pits right this very minute.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (EWG Rating 0) – I’m happily using this product right now – I love the scent (it’s very simple and fresh), and it absorbs despite the absence of crazy chemicals. It has a cult following, for sure.

Primal Pit Paste, Unscented (EWG Rating 0) – I like this paste as well. Primal makes several different scents, but I am partial to the paste in the pot. The roll-on stick ones don’t seem to spread very well…it’s almost like they are too dry.


DoTerra On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste – Great essential oil-based toothpaste with none of the bad stuff.

Tinted Moisturizers and Concealers:

I wrote about these in the makeup post, but thought I would include them since they are the next step, and I found a new concealer that I simply must tell you about. (It’s from the drugstore! Yippee!)

Beautycounter Tint Skin (EWG Rating 2) – Amazing, awesome, still love it. Read about it here.

Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer (EWG Rating 3) – Still awesome. This one has a slight edge over the Tint Skin due to the sunscreen component.

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (EWG Rating 3) – $8.99. What the what? I LOVE THIS STUFF. It’s the only undereye concealer I use anymore. I love it. Did I mention it was $8.99? EIGHT NINETY NINE, folks.

There you go! Everything I’m currently using on my face is right here. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, and I have a quick question for you. Do any of you use disposable washcloths to wash your face? Ones that don’t have cleanser already in them…just plain, disposable washcloths that I could use with my cleanser when I travel. Standard, terry washcloths don’t seem to work for me.


Mindful Monday: Following Through



image credit: christie zimmer

I have a confession to make. I struggle with following through on my goals. (THE HORROR.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and had a really interesting conversation with my therapist last week that got me wondering about qualities we possess that can be both beneficial and detrimental to our psyche. For example, my resourcefulness and Love (yes, with a capital “l”) of research. I don’t think this blog would be celebrating its 10th birthday without the large amount of research I do to keep the content fresh and (hopefully) engaging. The capsule wardrobe, cleaning up my beauty and skincare, and Mindful Monday posts are a few recent examples. A lot goes into those posts – weeks of reading, studying, crowd-sourcing, etc, and I very much enjoy the entire process. I love taking a huge bite into a subject and figuring out how to make that translate to those of you who might not have the desire (or time) to do the work yourselves. It doesn’t feel like a job to me. (Well, 80% of the time.)

So, YAY for resourcefulness! Makes for interesting blog posts! Except, that, well, NO.

You see, the desire to know everything you possibly can about everything isn’t always beneficial. In fact, it can be downright paralyzing. It’s like what I wrote about in the capsule wardrobe post – too much knowledge and too many choices can actually backfire in your face, leading you to spin around aimlessly without actually doing anything. Walking into a crammed-full closet and declaring, “I have nothing to wear” is the exact same concept at play as purchasing a supplement or researching a new diet or deciding on a school or buying a new phone/car/home/insurance policy. SO MANY CHOICES. (Damn you, interwebs!) I witnessed this firsthand when I was diagnosed with Lyme – I saw so many different specialists and read the books and visited the websites and talked to others dealing with the disease…and ended up starting (and eventually stopping) so many different courses of treatment. That time in my life was when I wrote a lot of of last year’s Mindful Monday posts – I was trying to cut through all the mental and spiritual clutter, quiet the noise, and listen to my own intuition. It’s definitely a lifelong learning curve.

Now, I am learning to walk the fine line between my desire to eat All! Of! The! Information! alive and actually implement some of it.

How do you begin? Well, the above graphic has some fantastic points. For starters, the biggest issue for me is to STOP HAVING SO MANY GOALS AT ONCE. I know, I know. But goals are good! Be proactive! Do the work! Yes, all of that, but when you are drowning in goals and ideas and information, you aren’t going to achieve any of them. Give yourself a break – pick one or two measurable goals and go from there. Be gentle with yourselves – this isn’t a race, and it’s completely normal to move slowly and experience setbacks.

This is what I’ve come up with for 2015. I am going to work on two goals/ideas.

The two things I am focusing on this year are my quarterly capsule wardrobes (which, hello, larger concept – lots of research and planning involved), and the second, which I am unnaturally excited about, is a small, ultra-measurable goal that will thrill me beyond belief to complete. Like happy dances for days.

What is it?

To absolutely NOT buy a single book on my Kindle until I have finished the ones I already own. (Or at least attempt to get through them – if one is horrible, I can’t promise anything, people.)

My name is Sarah and I am an Impulsive Kindle Book Purchaser.

I consider this goal “small” due to the fact that I don’t need to research anything. I don’t need to bury myself in resources as to how to achieve said goal. I just need to read the books. That I bought. At some point because I wanted to read them.

How novel! (No pun intended.)

A very attainable goal, yet a much larger concept is at play. It’s giving me the chance to prove to myself that I can follow through, and I’m being smart about it. I didn’t choose some super involved, pie-in-the-sky dream that could send me spinning. It’s simple and straightforward…isn’t that what we all need at times?

A damn fine goal if I do say so myself. Do feel me following through already or what?

You want to know what the books are, don’t you? Okay, let’s do this.


1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
2. Lessons From Madame Chic
3. The Year of Magical Thinking
4. All The Light We Cannot See
5. The Yamas & Niyamas
6. The Conscious Parent
7. Bringing Home The Dharma
8. Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself
9. The Book of Secrets
10. The Story of a Happy Marriage
11. Divergent
12. The Goldfinch (I CAN NOT GET THROUGH THIS BOOK. Everyone seems to adore it, though. What’s the deal?)
13. The Giver
14. Man’s Search for Ultimate Meaning
15. What We Talk About When We Talk About God
16. The Last Letter From Your Lover

Okay, guys. I’m not buying any more books until these are all finished. #followingthroughlikeaboss

(But tell me what you’re reading. I swear I won’t buy it. Trust me! Consider it a challenge of my willpower!)

What are your thoughts on following through on goals? Do you get overwhelmed like yours truly? Have you considered setting a smaller goal for yourself in hopes to see it through to completion?


odds and ends



1. How unique are those floral mandalas?

2. Beard oils, beard tonics, beard balms, oh my!

3. Three steps to profound healing. Written by a hot dude.

4. Why having a good diet isn’t the only answer to being healthy. Preach.

5. How many of these have you read? I’ve read 5. I suck.

6. Does this really work? Although, frankly, can we just ban telephone calls altogether?

7. Look at these dreamscapes created in a tiny studio. UNBELIEVABLE.

8. Resolutions after a trauma. One of the most beautiful and touching pieces I’ve read in a very long time.

9. Are you at a crossroads of “should” and “must?” Then, you simply must read this.

10. Short capsule wardrobe update – the week started off a little ho-hum, as looking at my stark closet was a bit sad, but I have to say that choosing outfits is a breeze. I did have a little edit though – I got cocky and included a pair of jeans that I actually hadn’t received yet, and they didn’t fit upon arrival. I also traded out one shirt right after I created the capsule image last week- so those two items (jeans and shirt) were switched out in the graphic. #firstworldproblems (The two items are this and this, if you are wondering. I’m in love with the Mother jeans – they fit like a dream.) Also, another observation – thank God for scarves. Hallelujah.

Happy weekend!


New Year, New (Even Easier) Waves


This post is sponsored by Sally Beauty. Thanks for supporting this site!

easy ombre waves

You know I’m a tad obsessed with creating the perfect waves, right? I mean, I’ve done the traditional curling iron wave, the clipless curling iron wave, the flat iron wave…well, it’s a new year and I’m trying a new tool for my waves, The Ion Titanium Pro Multi Styler. This year I’m obsessed with a super undone, casual wave with bangs – think a melding of Francoise Hardy and Brigitte Bardot.

The search for a new tool really stemmed from the fact that since the bangs are back, I occasionally need to use a flat iron, which wasn’t the case pre-bang. When I saw this all-in-one tool, I got really excited because my bathroom storage is practically non-existent and you know I love to simplify, and this is essentially a curling iron and flat iron in one. So! I decided to give it a whirl, and I’m really loving the messy casual waves it creates.

Take a look for yourself. (This tutorial will also work for those of you with traditional flat irons!)

The technique of curling your hair with a flat iron is really simple, once you get the hang of it. Also, if a video tutorial is your thing, check out this one I did about 5 years ago. I had to laugh a little bit at the quality of the video…what can I say, I was a newbie back then.)

Okay! So, here’s the technique. Grab a 1-inch section of hair.


Clamp your flat iron down on the hair about mid-shaft.


Rotate the iron 180 degrees and then slowly pull downwards while twisting your wrist. That’s it!


Let me show you how I do it. First, I section off the top half of my hair and begin working through the bottom layer.


Then I let down more of my hair and begin again.


After you get used to twisting the iron, you can get through your hair super fast.


Now, the VERY BEST thing about this particular iron is that you can use as a flat iron as well. Let’s say you accidentally curl a section way too tight.


No worries, my friend. You can flat iron that crazy curl right out. #thumbsup


After working though my hair, I was left with a little Hardy/Bardot hybrid style.

easy ombre waves

I can’t get enough of the messy waves and bangs for 2015. New bangs, new waves, happy girl.

What New Year, New You Look are you planning this year? A new hairstyle or a new lip color? Sally Beauty is challenging shoppers to try something new – daring new hair color, bright new nail shade, fresh new lip color, new hairstyle, new treatment, etc, AND if you share your New You look, you could win a trip to New York for a makeover by a professional TV stylist. Awwww yeahhhh.

Here’s how to enter:
Share your New Year, New You look on:
Facebook: Visit the New Year, New You Challenge tab on the Sally Beauty Facebook page. Upload your image and complete the entry form.
Instagram and Twitter: Upload a photo with #SallyBeautyChallenge in your caption. Once you share, you will receive an auto-reply within 24 hours to visit the Facebook tab and complete the entry. Easy peasy!

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