Best Podcasts! (And a bit about my exercise routine.)

Every weekday morning, I walk 3-4 miles. It’s something I’ve done since the start of summer and I, by the grace of something or other, have completely stuck with it. #praisebe

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I’m pretty much an all-or-nothing girl. When I decide to launch into a subject or exercise or diet or lifestyle, I am ALL IN. This is probably why my blog has lasted so long…all the insane research I naturally do on a subject benefits others by living here for the rest of time. Well, up until my walking revelation, I was the same way about exercise. Yoga? ALL IN. What leggings should I buy? Let’s nail that headstand in the first week! Pilates? 5 DAYS A WEEK, YO. Who needs to take a rest day? Couch to 5K? On it! I’ll determine the best app and do it every. single. day. Speaking of apps, maybe I should do that Bikini Workout App…

Are you catching my drift?

Um, yeah. So, usually, two things happen when engaging in this all-or-nothing exercise extravaganza. I burn out very quickly OR I injure myself. It’s like clockwork – I go crazy for a month or two and then, totally drop the ball and move onto the next thing. Well, I move onto the next thing after sitting around doing nothing for months. (I will say that hasn’t been the case with yoga, but my very chill practice is more for my emotional health than physical health.)

Already knowing how important consistent exercise is for my overall health, especially heading into my mid-40s, I had a little come to Jesus meeting with myself and decided enough with the ups and downs and general nonsense. A consistent walking routine would be so much better than my previous antics, end of story! Brisk walking tones the body, raises the heart rate, and, most importantly, shouldn’t injure me. (Well, my first month was spent hobbling due to some ridiculous ((but so ridiculously cute, people!)) featherweight Adidas trainers that gave me a fun case of plantar fasciitis, but once I found proper footwear with, you know, CUSHION AND STABILITY, everything healed quickly.)

All to say that I love my morning walks! Clears my head, tones my body, and I can’t imagine not doing it at this point.

(What was this post about, again?)

Ah! Podcasts! Yes.

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The Best Clean Skincare for Ladies Over 40

Welcome to the #CleanOver40 Series! After MANY conversations about the unique challenges women over 40 experience in terms of beauty and wellness, my good friend Lisa from This Organic Girl and I are teaming up to bring you the most effective clean skincare, makeup, and lifestyle products for those of us fortysomethings. This series will publish the second Monday of every month so be sure to stop by for the latest. You can also search #CleanOver40 on our blogs to access the entire series. Be sure to tag #CleanOver40 on social with your favorite picks as well…we ladies of a certain age need to stick together!

As most of you know, I am heading into my mid-forties. Well, barrelling into my mid-forties might better describe it. (Yield, barrel. YIELD.) My forties have actually been my favorite decade yet, but I will say that the aging process definitely seems to accelerate around this particular age period. In fact, I remember being in my late thirties and having a conversation with my gorgeous friend who happened to be about my age now. She told me, “Sarah, shit gets REAL around 43,” and I remember internally rolling my eyes at the statement. I mean, like 43 is some mystical number in which I will turn into a pumpkin? Rubbish, I thought. Well, I’m here to tell you SHE WAS SO RIGHT. Ladies, I wake up these days, look into the mirror, and find new “occurrences” on a weekly basis.

So, yeah. There’s never been a better time to invest in some high-performing skincare. (And pssst, thirtysomethings? Not a bad idea to jump on the bandwagon to get a head start.)

I love that Lisa and I have joined forces on this series. Some of you have mentioned that I’m your go-to girl for green beauty…well, Lisa is my go-to girl. She’s gorgeous, hilarious, and wicked smaht (although currently in Atlanta, a Bostonian through and through), and I know I can trust her recommendations 100%. The girl should be dubbed the Research Queen as she’s always in communication with beauty brands, digging deep and holding them completely accountable. Also, she is completely growing out her gray and looks sexy as hell!

Okay okay, let’s dive in. This month’s topic du jour? Our top three clean beauty skincare items.

This was no easy task, friends! Skincare is a massive category, so I had to really ponder this one. Here are my top three and make sure you head over to This Organic Girl to check out Lisa’s top picks. We are also giving away Lisa’s top three and my top three to TWO winners on our Instagram accounts later today! Each winner is taking home all 5 picks! (We share one…)

First up? The one product both Lisa and I chose… the MUN Aknari Brightening Face Serum.

My love for this serum knows no end. I’ve written about it countless times (here and here and here) and I still feel as strongly about it as I did from day one. It only has three ingredients in it, but my goodness, they pack a punch. Organic Prickly Pear Seed Oil (this oil is my skin’s bestie), Organic Argan Oil, Organic Rose Essential Oil – that’s it, ladies. And probably why my skin just drinks it up. It’s not overwhelming like some others can be. My skin never feels congested, always hydrated, and the biggest benefit? How soft my skin feels the morning after I use it. Bright, plump, and soft. So so so good.

Next up? Well, duh, an exfoliator. Mama can’t live without an exfoliator and honestly, you shouldn’t either! If you want your skin to glow, you must get yesterday’s news off your face. You need to stimulate cell regeneration and get rid of those pesky dead skin cells to really get your skin looking vibrant. My holy grail exfoliator is the True Botanicals Resurfacing Moisture Mask. HELLO, GLOW. (True Botanicals was one of the first lines inducted into my Best of Best series.)

Dubbed a “facial in a jar,” this lactic acid-based mask does the nearly impossible task of moisturizing AND exfoliating at the same time. The hydrating aspect comes from the addition of avocado butter, and the illumination comes from the combo of lactic acid and Astaxanthin, which is such a winner ingredient in my book. Good to note that this product is a chemical exfoliant vs. a physical exfoliant, meaning you don’t need to work it into the skin. You just apply the gel-like product on your face, wait 3-5 minutes, and voilá, you’re done. Yes, you heard me, the mask only needs 3-5 minutes to work. How much of a bonus is that?!

(Get $20 off your first True Botanicals order of $40+ with code WHOORLTRUE20)

So now’s the time when I divulge my 1-2-punch in terms of creating the best glow. It involves the above-mentioned True Botanicals mask and my last pick, the Honua Malu Protecting Day Cream SPF 30. You guys, I am OBSESSED with this facial sunscreen. Before being introduced to this product via Beauty Heroes, I wore facial sunscreen about 30% of the time. (Hey, I’m being honest. It was just so hard to find a clean facial SPF that I wanted to use daily.) Then this beauty of a product entered my life and the search was over.

I’m not going to lecture you on the importance of wearing a facial sunscreen, but not wearing one is by far the quickest to looking weathered before your time. The sun is your face’s #1 enemy in terms of staying youthful-looking and radiant, but finding a good clean sunscreen is hard, trust me, I know. This particular product not only protects you from the sun, but from environmental pollutants as well.

But here’s the thing, this cream gives me the best glow, so much so that the SPF really is an afterthought. I would use this as my facial day cream regardless, but win-win on the SPF! It’s so hydrating and illuminating, yet never greasy or oily. So what I do (almost) every morning is apply the True Botanicals mask for a few minutes, remove and then apply the Malu Day Cream. Did I mention it smells like Jasmine?!

Bare-faced after rinsing off the True Botanicals Resurfacing Mask and applying the Honua Malu Day Cream SPF30.

This pair creates a lovely canvas for my makeup application, so basically, I’m not swaying from this combo. Praise be.

Be sure to head over to Instagram this afternoon to enter the #CleanOver40 giveaway! As always, happy to answer any questions in the comments!

Best Instant Pot Recipes

image credit: jo cooks 

Well, hello there! Remember a few months ago when I asked for some of your favorite Instant Pot recipes over on Instagram Stories? And remember how I promised to compile them in a blog post? Well hot diggety dog, here ya go. A few months late. Ahem.

Better late than never, right?

I have to admit, my personal experience with pressure cooking is still limited to many different versions of beans (by the way, Kristen and I did a whole podcast episode on our Instant Pot thoughts, if you are interested), but you guys MUST know what’s up given all of these fantastic recommendations.

My #1 recommendation? Buy this book. It was mentioned so many times during the info gathering process.

Without further ado, here are the top 10!

Pressure Cooker Kalua Pig – #1 recommend recipe

Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma 

Pork and Napa Cabbage Soup

Fast and Easy Chicken Chile Verde

Fall Off the Bone Ribs

Instant Pot Meatloaf Mashed Potatoes

Chicken Taco Bowls

Butter Chicken – I love me some Butter Chicken!

Minestrone Soup

Bonus – you can make perfect hard-boiled eggs in a pressure cooker. Here’s how.

Let’s keep this list going though! Do you have a tried-and-true Instant Pot recipe? Leave it in the comments!

GREEN BEAUTY GUIDE – 2017 BEST OF BEST

This has been a long time coming…my initial Green Beauty Guide was written longer ago than I care to admit!

Today’s post is a little different, as it contains my very favorite cosmetics (skincare coming soon!) that I’ve procured over the past three years or so. You know, the kind of products you use until you’re scraping the very last bits from the container, only to repurchase again. And I don’t know about you, but that’s what I really want to know in regards to beauty bloggers. What they are truly using again and again and again.

Well, these fit that criteria for me. Naturally, I receive a lot of products to test, but the percentage that actually make it here on the blog and/or my Instagram account is pretty small. (15%, maybe?)

All to say, I love these products.

(A side note regarding ingredients. All of these brands are considered “clean beauty,” but it’s up to you how far you want to take it. Let me give you an example…a few of these products contain Phenoxyethanol, which is a preservative that some choose not to use. It scores a 4 on the EWG for possible irritation and toxicity issues, but personally, after much research, I’m okay using it here and there in a select few products. And that’s the thing, you need to research what you will and will not use. It’s a personal choice. BUT I can tell you that every product listed in this roundup is light years better than conventional beauty products, so never fear.)

Let’s get this party started!

Tinted Moisturizer/Foundation:

Gressa Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation – This foundation is my MVP. It is unbelievable to me how one single drop of this serum foundation can create the most beautiful coverage. One drop! I started wearing it a year ago and have never looked back. The 2.5 shade works very well on my skin except for summer when I get a little darker. This foundation is truly a game changer. Here’s a photo of me wearing it. (For samples, just click “Sample It” on this product page and you can try different shades. 4 samples at Detox Market for $7.99)

Beautycounter Tint Skin Foundation – This was included in my original post, and I still love it for those reasons. Has less coverage than the Gressa foundation.

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Tint SPF 30 – I usually wear this or the Suntegrity during the summer months due to the SPF component. Gives a nice evenness to the skin with a bit of glow.

Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen – Another great tinted moisturizer with SPF. Although, I feel I’m right between Fair and Light. Light usually works for me when I’ve got a bit of color in the summer.

Primer:

Vapour Soft Focus Stratus Skin Perfector – I use primer very infrequently, but when I do, this is the best. I constantly hear how great this is from friends I’ve suggested it to – good stuff. I wear the S904.

Concealer:

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer – Once I found this concealer, I tossed every other one I owned. It’s just perfect – the consistency, the coverage, and the Light shade works perfectly on my complexion.

Powder:

Ilia Fade Into You Powder – Like primers, I don’t use powder very often as oil and shine are not issues of mine, but I do enjoy “setting my makeup” with this powder on nights out.

Highlighter:

Maya Chia Highlight of the Day Illuminating Serum – Love love love this highlighting serum.  Wrote all about it here.

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Brightener Stick – As you move down this list, you will see that makeup sticks are a thing with me. They are just so easy to use and apply! Love this highlighter because the shade is very natural on the skin, and again, STICKS.

Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizer – Holy moly, the shade Phosphene is ethereal on the cheekbones. Wearing it here.

Bronzer:

Maya Chia Illuminating Serum – The After Hours shade gives a great bronzed highlight to the face.

W3LL PEOPLE Bio Bronzer Stick – Bronzer in a stick. Need I say more. (Great for contouring too.)

Blush:

Rituel de Fille Inner Glow Cream Pigment – I wear this blush in Lovesick EVERY. DAMN. DAY. It is the perfect dusty rose on my complexion, and the application is a dream. (I’m wearing it here, and FYI, this brush is crucial for cream blush application.)

Antonym Baked Blush – On the days I’m feeling more of a powder blush vibe, the shade Rose is lovely. Wearing it here.

Vapour Aura Multi-Use Classic – Hello, it’s a stick. And the shade Spark is perfect for spring and summer.

Fitglow Beauty Pressed Blush – Another pressed powder blush that I enjoy in the bright pink shade Joy.

W3LL PEOPLE Universalist Multi-Stick – STICK. Nude Berry is gorgeous.

Eye Shadow:

Before we start here, I should let you know that I detest sparkle and larger glittery-type specks in eyeshadow. It is an absolute deal-breaker for me if I apply an eyeshadow and immediately see ANY sparkly fall-out on my face. However, I do appreciate a finely-milled sheen. All of these shadows fit the bill.

Lily Lolo Laid Bare Palette – Such lovely natural colors. This is my most-used palette.

Honest Beauty Eye Shadow Trio – Followed closely by this trio in Heather Mauve. Makes brown eyes pop! (Also, my sister, who’s a bit more oily than me loves the Everything Cream Foundation by Honest…it’s a lot less “dewy” than Beautycounter Tint Skin, and works great on oiler complexions.

Antonym Quattro Shadow – This Quattro is great. Croisette is my fave! Especially love the pink and bronzy-brown shade.

Ilia Essential Shadow Palette – This is a new palette for me. Love the Prima shade – great neutrals.

Kjaer Weis Eye Shadows – These wear very well, but also have a fairly hefty price tag. Wisdom is my favorite shade.

Eye Liner:

Jane Iredale Jelly Jar Gel Liner – OMG, they discontinued this product and I use it almost every day of my life. I’m crying. Someone tell me about a clean replacement for this, pleeeeaaaaaase.

Antonym Eye Pencil – The best color payoff and staying power in a pencil. So good for smudging.

Mascara:

Per-fekt Lash Perfection Gel – Have yet to find any clean mascara that works as well as this. I repurchase again and again.

Lashes:

Georgie Beauty – In the rare event that I wear faux lashes, I love the Bridal style by Georgie. I’m wearing them here.

Lipstick:

My favorite category! As many of you know, I love all shades of lipstick. But it doesn’t end there. Lip gloss! Lip pencils! Lip treatments! Lip crayons! I DO NOT DISCRIMINATE, FOLKS. Changing your lip color is the easiest way to completely transform your look.

Kosas Lipstick – Biggest find of the year. I am OBSESSED with this line. My absolute favorite lipsticks, of which I have 4 shades. (Want the rest, though.) Stardust is my go-to, always-in-my-purse, everyday lipstick. Wearing Stardust here, Royal here, Thrillest here, and I love Darkroom, although can’t find a photo of me wearing it. Each holds a special place in my heart. #itoldyouiwasobsessed

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon – Been wearing these for years, and I love the creamy, matte finish on these. Aubergine, Fraise, Red Velvet (also wearing it here) Framboise, Leche, and Pastille are my faves. (The lipstick photos never end!)

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick – Yet another Bite Beauty product, love these lipsticks too. Radish, Beetroot, and Liquorice are tops with me. Also love Chai and Meringue, but can’t find photos of me wearing those.

Nudus Lipstick – 27 Kisses is your lips but better. Wearing it here.

Red Apple Lipstick – So creamy and pigmented. Wearing Rebel here.

Lip Crayon:

Juice Beauty Lip Crayon – Salinas is gorgeous, everyday color. Wearing it here.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip Pencil – Great pigment. Wearing Chablis here and here.

Jane Iredale Play On Lip Crayon – The shade Luscious is my jam. Wearing it here.

Lip Gloss/Stain:

Au Naturale Lip Stain – This lip stain is like nothing I’ve ever felt. It is packaged in a tube like a gloss, but doesn’t have a slick gloss feel at all. On Pointe is a gorgeous nude that makes my lips look really full.

Ilia Lip Gloss – Sheer and lovely. Peek-a-Boo and Love Buzz are my favorites.

Vapour Elixir Plumping Gloss – I love the shade Trust, which is a pinky coral. Great for the warmer months.

Lip Pencil:

Jane Iredale Lip Pencils – I have these in multiple shades. Love ’em.

Lip Treatment:

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask – I mean, I don’t want to brag or anything, but I do have some soft lips. I owe it all to this product. Put it on every night before bed without fail!

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm – Keep this one in my purse because the stick form makes it easier to apply on the go.

Kari Gran Naked Peppermint Lip Whip – Mmm, this smells and tastes so good. Also love her Lip Buff. (Again with the soft lips!)

Makeup Brushes:

Been enjoying these cruelty-free makeup brushes lately, and I’m going to be honest, I have no idea why they are giving Whoorl readers such a great deal. Enter the code whoorl and you’ll get the entire set for $24 + shipping. Yes, you heard me…it’s a hell of a deal.

Final Thoughts:

If I was forced to choose 4 brands only for the rest of my life forever and ever amen, they would be Rituel de Fille, Kosas, Gressa, and W3LL PEOPLE. (But wait! I need my Per-fekt Mascara! Can’t I have 5? Please ?! I HATE THIS SCENARIO DO NOT MAKE ME CHOOSE.)

Online Green Beauty Retailers:

Unless you live in a major metropolitan area, many green beauty cosmetics need to be purchased online. Luckily, there are some great online retailers that carry fantastic brands and whose employees are super knowledgeable. I have purchased from many green beauty retailers, and these are tops in my book.

Citrine Natural Beauty Bar – My favorite. Expertly curated brands, customer education, reward perks, and super fast shipping…I am such a fan of Citrine. They also offer a sample program – 5 samples for $15 dollars, including shipping. I know buying cosmetics online can be daunting, so the sample program is key. They also do consults! Free shipping over U.S. orders over $75, and use the code whoorl10 for 10% off your entire purchase. Boom!

Beauty Heroes – Another great curation of green beauty brands, and Jeannie the founder is very particular about brand inclusion. The shop exemplifies responsible, ethical, high-performance green beauty brands AND if you are a Beauty Heroes member (you’ve heard me talk about this, right? The monthly beauty box that ships with full-sized products?! THE BEST), you get 15% off everything in the store 365 days out of the year. So worth it! It’s the only monthly subscription box I receive.

The Detox Market – This shop is amazing. The sheer number of green beauty brands is impressive, and I have purchased from The Detox Market many, many times. (I’ve also visited the brick and mortar shop in LA, which was like waking up on Christmas morning as a child.) You can accrue “detox” loyalty points which go towards future purchases, and you get free shipping over $80.

Pharmaca – The great thing about Pharmaca is its wide selection of cosmetics, skincare, supplements, homeopathy and more. It’s like a green beauty buff’s Target. Plus, there is a wide range of price points, which is super helpful. (Parents of tweens and teens looking for more natural beauty options that don’t break the bank will love Pharmaca.)

A couple more fabulous retailers are Credo Beauty and Integrity Botanicals.

There you have it, fellow green beauty enthusiasts! All of the above products are sitting on my vanity as I type this. They are certainly my best of the best. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comments section, as always!

The Best Skincare Serums in Green Beauty

natural-skincare-serums

I’m all about serums, folks. I’ve said bon voyage to lotions and creams entirely over the past year, and my skin is pretty damn happy, if you ask me. So what’s the deal with serums? Why would you want to use one?

Well, serums are multi-taskers, for sure. They reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce inflammation and skin irritation, impart hydration, improve complexion and restore elasticity, and most absorb quickly into the skin. As you can see, I have a few, and I wanted to give you my opinion on some of my favorites. I obviously don’t use all of these all the time, but they all serve a purpose for different skin situations.

Lina Hanson Global Face Serum* – This serum wins for best scent, hands-down. Ladies, the sustainable, ethically sourced essential oils in this blend are simply amazing – baobab, marula, argan and frankincense protect the skin from environmental damage and prevent dryness, and the texture of the oil is perfect. Not too thick and not too thin. I only need this serum after cleansing and I’m good to go.

Kypris Clearing Serum – If you haven’t heard, Kypris is really the darling of the green beauty community right now. I’ve tried many of the Kypris products, and I enjoy using the clearing serum sporadically on bumps and/or blemishes on the the skin, especially around that time of the month. The serum includes tea tree oil, quinoa, zinc, and lilac leaf stem cells, to name a few. For those of you with angry, blemished skin, I highly recommend this one.

Yuli Liquid Courage – I bought this sample and used it for a week or two. It’s a photostable, regenerative, health-boosting, concentrated antioxidant serum suitable for all skin types. I really like the way it feels on the face, and the unisex scent is very pleasing. It’s great as a prep before makeup. However, the $125 price point is a little too much for me, considering I love other serums more.

Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum – Oh, this is a good one. Of all the serums I use, I find this one to be the most active on the skin. It has won tons of awards and is a best seller from Tata Harper, boasting the benefits of 7 anti-aging products in one serum. It’s super concentrated, and contains Hyaluronic Acid, antioxidants and vitamins for a visibly healthier, more radiant appearance. My skin feels super firm after using this, and it’s obvious it’s working. However, I do need to use another layer of moisture after applying the serum. I usually follow up with the Tata Harper Replenishing Nutrient Complex. This serum is my go-to when I’m needing a boost.

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