Inside My Makeup Bag

My makeup habits have changed quite a bit over the years. I used to be the department store beauty counter type. I loved to go and have my makeup done and then buy the whole look the makeup artist put on me. Yup, I’m a sucker. Then, as Sephora got more popular I would make frequent trips, always stocking up on items I did not really need. Again, me = sucker.

Nowadays my makeup bag is much more stream lined and full of only clean, non-toxic products that I use everyday. I rarely spend more than 3-4 minutes putting on my makeup and much prefer a natural glowing look. When you spend your days exercising, at your desk, in the kitchen and at the playground there is really no need for a full face of makeup!

Recently, my favorite clean beauty blog, No More Dirty Looks (their book is amazing too!) asked me to divulge the contents of my makeup bag and I was happy to oblige. To find out my everyday makeup essentials click here!

Giveaway- Jane Iredale Starter Kit

Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you are single or coupled, today is a day to celebrate all the love you already have in your life. Love from friends, family, your pet, your community, YOUR SELF is just as important ( if not more so) than romantic love. I hope you have a day so filled with love your heart hurts. I personally will be spending the day cuddling and playing with my littlest Valentine and the night watching a movie and drinking wine on the couch with my bigger Valentine!

Speaking of love, the lovely folks at Jane Iredale recently sent me their new Starter Kit to try. Knowing I am a busy mom on the go they thought this easy, three step makeup routine would be right up my alley. They were right! With the Starter Kit I can be ready to run out the door in less than 60 seconds! The products are so beautifully effective I even look like I’ve had a full night’s sleep… ha!

Each Starter Kit includes:

Amazing Base® SPF 20 Loose Mineral Powder; the original foundation, powder, concealer and sunscreen in one. It provides exceptional coverage with a luminous finish.
PurePressed® Base SPF 20 Mineral Foundation; the first pressed mineral foundation, powder, concealer and sunscreen in one. It provides long-lasting, highly pigmented coverage with a semi-matte finish.
POMMIST™ Hydration Spray; a hydrating facial spritz with the added benefit of pomegranate extract. This also smells so yummy!
Mini Powder Brush.
Travel-size cosmetic case with extra-large mirror.

The Starter Kit Routine could not be any easier. First, start with Smooth Affair to nourish and refine the skin. Then apply either the Amazing Base to the PurePressed Base with the Mini Powder Brush. Finally, finish with a spritz of POMMISST. That’s it! I like to add a swipe of Jane Iredale Mascara to finish the easy, natural look.

  • Want to try the Starter Kit for yourself? Leave a comment here, tweet me @sarajanemercer or leave a comment on my Facebook page with what shade you would like to try ( Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium Dark, Dark). A winner will be chosen at random!

 

 

Beauty Food Gratitude

On Tuesday I co- hosted another Beauty Food Supper Club  with Rebecca Casciano and Jolene Hart at Sun In Bloom. Our guests were treated to four delicious courses of beautifying foods that left them all glowing by the evening’s end. This was the first Beauty Food Supper Club we have done since I was pregnant and it felt so great to be back at it with these wonderful ladies! You might note that my baby bump from the last two dinners has now shifted onto Jolene!

As always uber-talented chef Aimee Follette came up with a mouth watering menu starting with a Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Soup & Fall-Inspired Spring Roll.

The entree was a gorgeous 4 Seasons Salad featuring  Roasted veggies, massaged kale, avocado, quinoa, red grapes, black figs and spiced germinated walnuts dressed in herbaceous lemon vinaigrette

For dessert guests had a choice of Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Rich & Smooth Chocolate Sauce or Apple Tart with Banana Ice Cream. I tried both!

Before leaving every guest was treated to a deluxe gift bag with goodies from our amazing sponsors  Hail MerryLa Bella FiguraYoungblood Mineral CosmeticsKusmi Tea, and W3ll People.To stay up to date on the details of our next Beauty Food Supper Club be sure to like our new Facebook page. I hope to see you at the next one!

Ask Me Anything!

I was inspired to start this site by my friends and families questions about my health, cooking and beauty habits. In the (two!) years I have had this blog I have loved sharing my healthy tips and finds helping others on the path to cleaner, greener lives.

This summer, while I was taking a break to snuggle Hermione I started to get many questions from friends, readers and colleagues about my approach to pregnancy, childbirth and the first few months of having a baby.

I have loved answering your questions so much that I am launching a new video series entitled “Ask SJM.” In each video I will answer a few questions on everything from cooking to childbirth, beauty to babies! Want to know my daily skincare routine? Ask away! Curious about my favorite baby products? Ask me! What I am eating these days for dinner? I’ll tell you!

Submit your questions to me in the comments section here, tweet me @sarajanemercer using #AskSJM, or leave me a message on Facebook. Then stay tuned in the coming months to see if I answer your question!

 

 

 

Up until now I have been lucky to get through this pregnancy with few if any uncomfortable symptoms. I am not saying the past 37 weeks have been easy, but they have been relatively drama free. However, sometime last week I got hit hard by the pregnant truck. My feet and ankles have started to swell, a true crime for the shoe obsessed like me. I have been wearing sneakers which is something I would normally NEVER do outside of an exercise class. To be fair they are super cute gold sneakers but still! I made the mistake of wearing heels to my baby shower last week and my feet are still paying the price.

I have a horrible pain in my rib cage where my daughter has decided to wedge her rear end. No matter how many ice packs I put on her fanny to try and freeze her out she just won’t budge. I liken the sensation to being stabbed in the ribs by a very strong little elf. All day. And night. No fun.

Finally, the skin on my belly has started to itch. And itch. All throughout my pregnancy I have been diligent about lathering up with belly oil to prevent stretch marks.  I am still stretch mark free but my dry, stretched, sensitive belly skin has become quite scratchy. When just applying my belly oil stopped soothing the itch I reached for a gift from my friend Britta Aragon of CV Skinlabs. Sure enough, a few sprays of CV Skinlab’s Rescue and Relief Spray did Electronic Cigarette the trick. The extremely cooling, soothing spray instantly made my belly feel much better. I now give my belly a good spritz several times a day and have not suffered from the itchies since!

With CV Skinlabs, Britta has created an extremely effective line of soothing and healing products that are also 100% toxin free.

Why are toxin free products important? Well, did you know:

  • The average woman wears over 500 chemicals on her face every day?
  • Even teenage girls have makeup chemicals in their blood and urine?
  • We all have measurable levels of the hormone-disrupting phthalates in our bodies, but women have more of them, most likely because of personal care products?
  • People with sensitive skin are much more likely to experience painful and irritating reactions to harsh chemicals in personal care products?

Pretty scary huh? With the creation of CV Skinlabs, Britta has taken a stand against toxins in skin care. Britta is now starting a major skincare revolution with two main goals:

1) To deliver a sampling CV Skinlabs, into every hospital in the nation.

2) To start a marketing campaign to get CV Skinlabs into cancer centers nationwide.

To accomplish these goals, Britta is trying to raise $65,000, and needs your help! You can contribute to her crowdfunding campaign at www.igg.me/at/cvskinlabs, All contributions are rewarded, and no donation is too small.

The campaign ends on May 8th, 2013 so if you are as serious about toxin free skincare as I am don’t wait! Join me and Britta in the Natural Skincare Revolution!

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Instant Detox Tips for Mind, Body and Beauty

Spring cleaning can take many different forms. From cleaning up your eating routine to sorting through what is lurking in your cabinets there are many ways to spring clean for the season ahead. At last week’s Beauty Food Supper Club Rebecca, Jolene, and I treated guests to a mini workshop focused on spring detox tips for mind, body and beauty. Here are the ten tips we shared with the group!

Household

Detox Your Pantry

Spring is a great time to give your pantry a through once over. Throw out anything that is expired,

and weed out all of those gross processed foods. Your body will thank you!

Clean Up Your Cleaning Products

What you clean your house with is just as important as what you put in your body. Get ride of any toxic products hiding under your sink and replace them with natural, toxin free alternatives. Some of my favorite cleaning brands include Mrs. Meyers Clean Day, Method and The Honest Company.

De-­‐Clutter Your Closet

Take an afternoon and go through your closet. Be ruthless. Anything you have not worn in a year or two should be given away or donated. An organized, streamlined closet filled with only items you love will make getting dressed each day much faster and easier!

FOOD

Boost Glutathione, a Mega-­‐Detoxifier

Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body, and it’s a critical detox aid. While you can’t get it in supplement form, you can eat more foods that increase its production, like garlic, asparagus, avocado, broccoli, turmeric, and cinnamon.

Support Internal Detox Processes

When your digestive system and liver are functioning well, you detox naturally! Nourish healthy digestion with fermented foods (like kimchi and miso) and fresh greens, and support liver health with warm lemon water, dandelion root tea, and artichokes.

Shut Out Toxins

A big part of detoxing is getting rid of toxins—and keeping them away. Support your health by cutting back on the foods that stress out your beauty, like refined sugar, alcohol, processed foods, caffeine and produce sprayed with pesticides.

BEAUTY

Get to Know What’s in Your Products

Educate yourself about the ingredients in your makeup and personal care products by visiting The Environmental Working Group’s Database, Skin Deep , where you’ll find out how safe your products rate on a scale of 0-­‐10 (low-­‐high).

Swap the Products You Use Most

First find greener options for the products you use most often and over the largest areas of skin, like shower gel, shampoo and skin care. The good news is, these are usually easy to replace, as natural options can be found in chains like Target, Duane Reade and many health food stores.

Clean Out and Refresh Your Makeup Kit

Let go of any products that you’ve had for longer than you remember (products that contain water-­‐ 9 months, those that don’t-­‐ 12 months) and anything that’s broken or smells funny. Spring is the perfect time to update your look with new colors or textures.

BONUS TIP

Add Green Juice to Your Day

Green juices are an amazing way to add nutrition to your diet while also detoxifying the body. The chlorophyll in greens oxygenates the body, which enables us to release stored toxins. Green juice also cleanses your digestive system, lungs, and liver.

Beauty Food Supper Club- Spring Renewal

Last week I co-hosted another Beauty Food Supper Club with the lovely Rebecca Casciano and Jolene Hart. This was our second event and we are having so much fun with them! Last week’s theme was Spring Renewal featuring a delicious spring detox inspired menu, a mini workshop on spring detox tips, and an exclusive gift bag featuring some of our favorite natural beauty brands! Everyone who attended had a wonderful time. As with the previous dinner I was so thrilled that guests were comfortable coming alone and that everyone made new friends and connections!

Once again our dinner was at Sun In Bloom in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Sun In Bloom is one of my favorite spots, chef/owner Aimee Follette could not be more sweet or talented!

To start off the evening guests were given a choice of either a Sweet Lady Green (Collard, Romaine, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley) or Green Lady Dream (Collard, Romaine, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley, Green Apple, Lime) juice.

After the green juice came a Kimchi Avocado Salad with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Served on a Bed of Fresh Romaine with a Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing. This was the perfect salad to greet spring with. Packed with beauty ingredients such as avocado, pumpkin seeds and probiotic rich kimchi I could feel my skin glowing from the first bite!
While the guests enjoyed their salads, Rebecca, Jolene and I talked about easy ways to detox for spring. From household, to beauty, to internal cleaning tips we offered guests many ideas on how to greet the new season feeling fresh! I will be sharing our tips later this week so stay tuned!
Next up was a Carrot Ginger Jalapeno Lime Soup. I cannot wait to recreate this subtly spicy raw soup at home!
The final savory course was the Stimulating Sweet N’ Spicy Spring Role featuring Sunflower Seed Chipotle Pate wrapped in Rice Paper with Avocado, Mango, Zucchini, Cabbage and a Cilantro Lime Creme. This generously portioned role was so satisfying and filling that many of the guests took half of it home to enjoy the next day!

For dessert Aimee served a heavenly Strawberry Cheesecake with Almond Crust and a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry. This type of raw, gluten free, vegan dessert is wonderful proof that decadence does not have to involve toxic, beauty stealing ingredients such as sugar and dairy.
Before the evening came to a close Rebecca, Jolene and I each raffled off one of our services. I cannot wait to treat my winner to a Smoothie Party! On top of a belly full of beauty foods guests each went home with a deluxe gift bag from Me and the Girls, Risa’s Naturals, Blissoma, Dr. Alkaitis and Christopher Drummond Beauty to  help them furter beautify for spring!
We are already working on the date and details of our next Beauty Food Supper Club! Details to come soon!
me & the girls

Pregnancy is an incredible and constantly changing state of being. One day I feel sexy and on top of the world and the next I feel like a manatee that swallowed a basketball. Similar to the end of summer when I can no longer stand to look at my shorts and sun dresses I am getting to a point where I CANNOT WAIT to pack up my maternity clothes and pass them on to an expecting friend or store them in case we decide to have another baby down the road (still very undecided about that).

While growing a baby is indeed a miraculous process it certainly come with its share of surprises. I have been lucky to have had a very easy time these past 34 weeks, but I have certainly not been symptom free. My rib cage aches as if someone is prying me open from the inside out ( I guess they are?!?!). If I do not get at least a 30-minute nap in the afternoon I am useless past 8pm. My ankles and feet are starting to swell if I walk or sit for too long making wearing my beloved heels torture. To get through these last few weeks more comfortably I have been stretching my ribcage as much as possible, grabbing naps when I can, and spending time with my feet elevated (preferably up the wall).

Recently my ankles and feet have also been treated to a new and completely addictive at home spa treatment thanks to the kind folks at me & the girls. Me & the girls is a Beneficial Organic Beauty company that donates a portion of all of it’s proceeds to organizations such as Women for Women International, The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and GEMS. The entire me & the girls line is vegan, cruelty free and centered around supremely moisturizing Capuaca Seed Butter. All of their products make your skin look and feel amazing but it is the Lavandula Revive Foot Scrub and Creme that have really won my heart

After hoofing it around NYC all day nothing feels better on my swollen and achy feet than this scrub and creme. The Lavandula Revive Scrub has been called a “Pedicure in a Jar” and I have to agree. It helps perk up my tired feet with infusions of lavender, and fine grain sugar cane. The base of the scrub is a spearmint butter creme which leaves my feet feeling tingly and refreshed . The Lavandula Revive Foot Creme is a heavenly combination of capuscu seed butter and avocado oil blended into a mint moisturizer. I have been applying this creme every night before bed and I wake up with feet that are ready to tote ( haul?) my growing body around for another day

Me & the girls products are wonderful for anyone needing a little extra hydration and pampering in their lives, not just those of moisturizing for two! Their Limonum Sugar Body Scrub is a lovely in shower treat that leaves your whole body super soft and amazing smelling. The Bar Beleza Multi-Use Beauty Bar is a true multitasker that can be used as a non-foaming cleanser and moisturizer. It would be perfect for travel!

If you are in the NYC area and want to try some me & the girls products for yourself be sure to join me on April 4th at the next Beauty Food Supper Club.  Everyone who attends will go home with a deluxe gift bag featuring FULL SIZED me & the girls products along with other natural health and beauty goodies!

Valentine’s Day Look- Rich Lips And Wingtips

I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day. My rational brain knows that February 14th has become a day for florists, chocolatiers and lingerie makers to earn their yearly nut and restaurants to charge way to much for fancy prix-fixe menus but I still love it! I think it is nice to have a day devoted to love and all things sweet! In fact, somebody gave me a homemade Valentine today and I am still smiling!

In the past Doug and I have made big Valentine’s Day plans involving fancy dinners, theater tickets etc. While this is always fun, the more pregnant I get the harder it is for me to stay out late on a “school night.” So, this year we have decided to spend the night of the 14th at home together and go on a special delayed date Saturday night to a cheesy romantic movie and dinner at Pure Food and Wine. I am very excited!

In the true spirit of the holiday I almost always wear red or pink when going out for Valentine’s Day. I even have a special Valentine’s purse with hearts on it that gets broken out once a year! This winged eyeliner and deep lip look that Rebecca Casciano created for our latest video would be the perfect compliment to any Valentine’s ensemble. It is both sexy and playful, and quite easy to accomplish!

Get The Look: Rich Lips and Wingtips

Fill in eyebrows by applying a Tarte powder eye shadow with angled brush.

Add a highlight to your browbone and inner corner of the eye using a matte or shimmer eye shadow 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone. We used Nvey Eco #162 in the Eye Color System #5.

Choose a neutral eye shadow a couple shades darker than your skin tone to your lid and blend up into the crease. This is Nvey Eco #168.

With a a dark liquid or cake liner, use an angled brush to make short stokes, as close as possible to the lash line. When you reach the outer corner of the eye, drag the brush up and out to a tapered point. Be sure to fill in any gaps between your strokes. We used Nvey Eco Organic Cake Liner in Brown.

Curl your lashes and add a few coats of black mascara like Nvey Eco’s Volumising Mascara to the top and bottom lashes.

Apply a warm, rosy blush to cheekbones and blend well. We used Alima Pure Matte Blush in Pink.

Finish the look with a deep red lipstick in a matte or cream texture. We applied Kranberry Lipstick by Youngblood with small a lip brush. This helps to create a more precise application.

 

 

 

 

Beauty Food Supper Club

(photos by Melissa Murphy melissamurphyphoto.com)

Last night’s Beauty Food Supper Club was a huge success. All of our guests had a wonderful time eating divine beauty foods, meeting new friends, and learning how beauty truly comes from the inside out! I personally loved that so many people felt comfortable to come solo. It was like a dinner party with the friends you never knew you had!

The menu was divine, Aimee Follette of Sun In Bloom is an incredibly talented chef whose dishes are truly nourishing inside and out. Everyone enjoyed the meal so much that most people bought soups, dressings and desserts to take home and enjoy over the weekend!

I could not have co-hoted this event with three lovelier women! Rebecca Casciano, Aimee Follette and Jolene Hart are true beautiues inside and out!

Our night started with a cucumber, pomegranate and ginger juice. Pomegrante boots the performance of nitric oxide, a chemical that keeps our circulatory systems young, our skin glowing – and gets us aroused! Ginger warms out bodies from the inside out while cooling inflammation that contributes to redness and breakouts.

Next up was the Divine Creamy Green Radiance Soup made with romaine lettuce, cucumber, parsley, avocado, lemon, garlic and sea salt. Avocado is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. It burns easily for energy and fires up the natural detox processes of the liver which helps skin stay clear and radiant. Lemon is full of collagen-building vitamin C, detoxifying for the liver and highly alkaline. A glass of lemon water first thing in the morning will do wonders for your internal ph keeping your body alkaline and healthy!

Our main course was a Hearty Balancing Macro Platter with quinoa, beans, tempeh, roasted butternut squash, steamed greens, wakame, raw sauerkraut, and Sun In Bloom’s famous ( and to die for) Live Sesame Ginger Dressing. Seriously, I could eat a bowl of that dressing! Wakame is packed with beauty minerals like calcium and magnesium to build your skin, hair, nails and bones. In my case it also helps with building the little one I am growing! Raw Sauerkraut is a natural probiotic that promotes healthy digestion. If your digestion is not working properly it will show in your skin. Healthy digestion=glowing skin!

We finished our meal with a truly decadent, divine dessert. The Chocolate Mayan Spiced Fudge Cake was one of the best sweet treats I have eaten in a long time. I adore anything that combines chocolate, cinnamon, spice and sea salt as is reminds me of Mexico! This cake was a perfect example of how something great tasting can also be great for you. Cacao improves skin hydration and reduces redness by increasing the supply of nutrients, blood, and oxygen to the skin. Cinnamon stabilizes blood sugar preventing insulin spikes that contribute to breakouts and advanced aging.

On the way out the door everyone was given a beauty gift bag featuring goodies from Tata Harper, Jane Iredale, Kahina Giving Beauty and Gnois Chocolate. The night was truly special and I cannot wait for our Spring Beauty Food Supper Club in April!

 

 

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