I DRANK COLLAGEN and heres what happened


If I was a betting gal, it would be easy money to say that you and everyone you know is taking about collagen. It’s the latest super supplement and it’s popping up on every heathy list imaginable – but what is it all about?

I wanted to see what all the hype was about, so naturally I dove right in, headfirst, and went gangbusters for a week. I ate, drank, gargled (jk, I didn’t do that), and breathed collagen (by only by accident because I sneezed while scooping some out….oops) and there are legit some amazing benefits…

Here is why everyone is loving collagen:

Great for your bones, joints, and muscles

Helps with digestion & is great for anyone with acid reflux, IBS, or leaky gut

Does wonders for your skin (goodbye wrinkles), teeth, nails, and hair

And, rumor has it, it supports a healthy nights sleep

After doing some research, I ordered Dr. Axe’s Multi-Collagen Protein and started adding two scoops to my morning smoothies. This particular mix is a high-quality blend of bovine, chicken, fish, and egg collagens, providing collagen Types I, II, III, V and X (hence, “multi” collagen).Types I and III are amazing for your skin, hair, and nails while Type II collagen, which  supports gut health, joint health and healthy immune system function.

This mix is great because it’s super high quality, easy to absorb, tasteless, and has absolutely no smell (which, to me, is a big win). Smoothies are a super easy way to work collagen in, but I have also mixed it in to my cup of tea in the evening, and lots of people use collagen in their recipes!

I’ve been drinking collagen for about two weeks now and I can tell that their is a difference in my skin, energy levels, and my hair feels more healthy. It’s so easy to work in to my morning routine and with noticeable results in such a short time, it’s definitely become a beloved part of my health regime.

What do you think? Would you try working collagen in to your routine?

ELIMINATING TOXINS IN YOUR BATHROOM ROUTINE

Did you know that your skin is your biggest organ? Now think about all the junk you put on your skin – soap, shampoo, conditioner, scrubs, lotions, deodorant – it’s a lot! Now think about how much you know about all those products? Are they organic? Paraben free? What even is a paraben?

I have had terrible skin since I can remember. Terrible spots, flakes, the works. From 13 to almost 30, it doesn’t get easier to deal with. BUT, a few great things have come out of having shit skin, I have tested almost every product on the market and have become a total nutter about researching the isht out of what I am putting on my body. That nuttiness has migrated from purely facial products to just about everything that falls under ‘bath and beauty.’

There is a crap load of funky stuff floating around in your products that you probably don’t even think about because it’s in a pretty package (I am so, so guilty of this) or because it’s sold at a certain store, and it could be affecting your whole body, not just your skin.

Now I know re-stocking isn’t cheap, but I am taking on one room a month and figuring out what stays and what goes. Join me and take an hour out of your night and go through your bathroom cabinets. Pull out all the product from your shower, under the cabinets, all those samples, and even those bins you keep in the back full of half used bottles and tubes. Grab a trash bin and toss out anything that has the following:

BHA and BHT (commonly found in moisturizers)

MEA, DEA, & TEA  (or monoethanolamine, diethanolamine, and triethanolamine)

P-phenylenediamine (coal tar dye) and anything with CI, FD&C, or D&C followed by a five-digit number (found in hair dye or colored products)

Parabens (found in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products)

Dibutyl phthalate (found in nail polish)

Methenamine or Hexamethylenetetramine (found in eye makeup, as well as shampoo and hair conditioners)

If you want help or more guidelines, try downloading Think Dirty or EWG’s Healthy Living. Both apps allow you to scan your products to see where your products rates on the dirty/clean scale.

This week I am taking on my bathroom products. I’ve thrown out a ton of lotions, funky soaps, and countless samples. Here is a list of clean (or more clean) products that I’ve swapped out. Okay, from left to right…

Lime & Coconut Salty Scrub

Meow Meow Tweet Charcoal Soap Bar

Meow Meow Tweet Natural Deodorant

Goodwell Toothbrush

Pacific Mint Toothpaste

Meow Meow Tweet Body Lotion

Ritual Vitamins

What products do you love? I am always on the hunt to clean up my routines & would love to know your favorites <3

Stay tuned for posts on clean lipsticks, beauty products, and lots of other swaps. Here’s to clean cleaning!

TRANSITION TO THOUGHTFUL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

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In our transition to all things ‘thoughtful living,’ we are making an effort to ditch our normal beauty products that for a regime that is much more friendly. Out with the weird ingredients, in with natural ingredients, stuff we can pronounce, and things that help repair our skin. Ya dig?First up – charcoal…okay, okay, and a little bit of coffee.

I have been on the charcoal train for a few months now & I am obsessed with every single on of these products. The Clinique gel & scrub are a part of my daily routine and every Sunday, during my little me-time pamper session, I bust out the mask & coffee scrub. All totally affordable & products that don’t break me out..and I don’t say that lightly because we all know what shit skin I used to have. So, party people, pour that glass of wine and let’s get to at-home spa-ing!


FRANK BODY SCRUB – i.e. the most amazing scrub ever

This is, and I mean it, the best body scrub around. It’s totally affordable, lasts forever, and smells amazing. I use this every other day (I even pack a little pouch of it in my gym bag) and my skin is constantly baby’s butt smooth. Plus, it cuts down on cellulite and eczema and a bunch of other beneficial stuff. I use it because it smells amazing and does wonders for my sluffy Chicago skin. Get it, you won’t regret it!

BOSCIA CHARCOAL MASK – basically magic

Again, another product I can’t live without. While it does make you look like Darth Vader when it’s on, it’s amazing and leaves your skin feeling all silky smooth. For $8 a pop, these are a totally affordable treat once or twice a month. Boscia has a bunch of different treatments – like sake or green tea – but the charcoal is my favorite.

CLINIQUE CHARCOAL CLEANSING GEL 

This is a new addition to the bunch, but I am really liking it. It cleanses my skin without drying it out, gets rid of the makeup & city grim, and leaves my face feeling fresh and comfortable. Clinique is a brand I keep coming back to because their products are gentle and way less harmful then other cleansers.

CLINIQUE CHARCOAL CITY BLOCK MASK

Sister, if you are looking for a good mud mask, this is it. I love it, I love it, I love it. It’s a scrub and a mask and it’s so good. It is great for a weekly mask, won’t dry your skin out, and has a nice little scrub at the end. I use this puppy once a week and my skin has never felt better. Plus, the natural bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay help remove pollution and impurities, while natural silica beads gently refine texture. Pretty nifty!


 

CLEAN UP YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE 4 simple steps to a healthier you

Healthy living- we all strive to do it on the regular and for the most part, you’re getting pretty good at choosing whole foods and cutting the junk and you’ve got the yoga thing down, but if you’re still not feeling like a million bucks, you may be missing a piece of the puzzle. A big piece!

Healthy living is about far more than just nourishing your body with nutrients and movement – it’s about cultivating healthy relationships, joyful and mindful living, plenty of good sleep and in today’s world, creating a less toxic living environment.

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

As woman, we may slather a handful or more pricey beauty products all over our bodies before we even leave the house in the morning, many of which may contain toxic ingredients that have been linked to serious health issues like hormonal imbalances, fertility issues, and even cancer. Yah, I went there.

Cleansing your beauty routine can be just as important as cleansing that beautiful bod. In fact, think about it this way- what’s the point of detoxing if you continue to put the junk in?

Here are a few simple ways to cleanse your beauty routine and really rock out the healthy life…

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

READ THE LABEL:

Just like when you’re grocery shopping, reading the labels on your skin care products can tell you a lot about what’s inside. Watch out for pthalates, sodium laurel/laureth sulfate, fragrance, and parabens, to name a few. Primally Pure is a great example of label purity. Their Deodorant, Lavender + Sage Body Butter and Fancy Face Serum are the real deal. Let’s just say you could literally eat your deodorant if it came down to it.

clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

CHOOSE A SAFE SKIN CARE BRAND:

Choosing a non-toxic option doesn’t mean you can only use crushed rose petals and coconut oil. Beautycounter, one of my favs, has banned over 1,500 ingredients from their makeup and skin care line and are leading the safe skincare movement. The best part- their products actually perform. Their Lip Sheer, Charcoal Cleansing Bar and Balancing Face Oil are must-haves!

Clean up your beauty routine via lauren kelp

DIY IT:

A super simple and affordable way to cleanse your beauty routine is by making a few products on your own (think mouthwash, body butter and deodorant for the brave!). Adding pure essential oils like lavender, frankincense, and melaleuca can up your DIY beauty game big time! They have natural cleansing and beautifying properties and smell a-mazing! Hello home spa!

STOCK UP SLOWLY:

 Depending on your current beauty routine, switching over to safe skincare products can be pricey. An easy way to make the transition more affordable is to stock up on products as you run out, one by one. But if you’re ready to take the non-toxic plunge, dive right in girl!

One of my favorite ways to check out how my current products are ranking in terms of purity is through the Environmental Working Group. Plug your fav products into their new app, “Healthy Living”, to see their safety ratings

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Written by Justine Campbell, RD, NTP & Photography by Caroline Potter, NTP

PATTERN PLAY with Marshalls

fall street style via lauren kelpYes my friends, what you are seeing is true. A very rare fashion post is hitting the site today! I am absolutely not the fashionable friend, nor do I claim to be, but when I was shopping for an entertaining photo shoot at Marshall’s the other day & say this dress and draped shawl, I just had to share!

Typically, I am attracted to gray tones, blacks, and creams, so this is not off of my normal color palette, but the pattern is what totally struck me! Plus, it’s a knit! It’s a fabulous, stretchy, won’t wrinkle knit! fall street style via lauren kelpIf you haven’t jumped on the knit train, you should because they are amazing. They are perfect to pack (because they don’t wrinkle), stretchy but don’t get blown out, and wildly versatile. I am not much of a pattern gal because they can be pigeonholed as one note, or too trendy. This guy, however, can go traditional – perfect for a brunch with the Grandparents – but it can also go a little brocade – a slam dunk for a go-to work piece.

– SHOP THE LOOK –

Suede Boots | Similar Knit Dress #1 | Similar Knit Dress #2 | Draped Shawl | DW Watch

fall street style via lauren kelpOkay, now..let’s talk about this black shawl. I mean…look at it! It’s fantastic <3 How can you go wrong with a matte black, cozy shawl, that has shearling inside, & drapes like a boss. I talk about food & entertaining, so maybe take my fashion advice with a grain of salt (preferably pink Himalayan salt 😉 ) but next time you are browsing the Marshall’s shelves for fabulous kitchen & entertaining supplies, head on over to those clothing racks & see what you can find. You never know, you might be surprised by the perfect matte black shawl & pattern dress!

fall street style via lauren kelp

– SHOP THE LOOK –

Suede Boots | Similar Knit Dress #1 | Similar Knit Dress #2 | Draped Shawl | DW Watch

Thanks Marshalls for sponsoring this post

Photography by Aimée Mazzenga

SEAWEED BATHS and why they are amazing

IMG_4066Throughout my short little life, I have had a whole host of fabulous skin issues – adorable acne, really cute psoriasis, and even lovely little skin irritations due to what I was eating. Not everyone was blessed with having weird, flakey skin and so some of you would never think to shower with seaweed, but let me change your mind because it is AMAZING.

I am a bit of a sucker for beauty products. I love the packaging, the enticing fragrance of a new mask, or the anticipation before trying a new bath salt, & because of my love of beauty products, I will try just about anything (expect that weird baby cream, H NO). So when I heard about the magical powers of seaweed, I thought why not?!
IMG_4074Enter, The Seaweed Bath Co. Created by an Austin-native who was suffering from shitty skin, these products are majestic for anyone that has psoriasis, flakey skin, or just wants to really hydrate, detox, and cleanse their skin.

The Detox Cellulite soap has become daily routine in my morning showers & if you enjoy baths, their bath products are a lovely little indulgence at the end of a long day. You can read all about their natural ingredients here or maybe you just want to swing by and pick some up at your local Whole Foods – either way, if you want to detox that skin, kick the eczema, or punch out your psoriasis, these babies will do the trick!

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lauren and sylvia

AN ODE TO BARE-FACED BEAUTY

howtobeachhair_031Hey y’all! Courtney here. When it comes to makeup, I’m one of those gals who tends to think less is more, and adapts the “natural beauty is timeless and classic” sort of mentality. But besides that, and the fact that I’d much rather get a couple extra minutes of sleep or meditation in the morning than spend my time in front of a mirror, minimal makeup is – believe it or not – a fashion statement (if you want it to be). Think about it! The amount of makeup you wear is absolutely parallel to your sense of style, all you have to do is wear it with confidence. So – as an ode to bare-faced beauty – here’s three tips that are guaranteed to make your face both bold and beautiful without all the extra maquillage.

1) EXFOLIATE THE SKIN

Facial masks have been a cosmetic staple of mine for as long as I can remember. And it’s not just because I feel pampered and semi-compelled to cut up a cucumber and… well, you know the rest! It’s because they’re one of the easiest at-home solutions to achieving healthy and supple skin. Whether you use a cream, cotton sheet (my favorite! they’re portable, doused in a serum-based formula, and packed full of vitamins and amino acids) or clay mask, target one area over another, or need a deep cleanse for your whole face, one easy application provides an array of long-lasting benefits. They hydrate and detoxify the skin, remove excess oils, increase circulation, replenish nutrients, improve the appearance of your pores – the list goes on! Sit back, relax, and de-stress with a calming face mask after work or right before you go to bed, and sleep better knowing that you’re doing your skin a huge favor.

2) MAINTAIN THOSE BROWS

Maintaining a strong brow shape is key to accentuating your eyes (also, if you don’t own an eyelash curler, get one!) and making your face stand out. Science has even proved it’s your most important facial feature! So give your brows a little extra TLC, and start by avoiding waxing as it destroys the sensitive skin. Try tweezing or threading instead, but don’t forget to embrace your natural shape if you’re doing it yourself! If your brows are thin or sparse, try using a daily serum to help them grow. Now, here’s the fun part! Use an eyebrow gel to add definition and create the perfect arch, apply the right color powder or pencil, and use a spoolie brush to blend the two for a natural and symmetrical final touch. Sculpting beautiful brows are essential to getting that natural, gorgeous look! And face it: they’re trendy as hell.

3) DRINK WATER & EAT WELL

This may come off as obvious to some, but I know so many people who neglect the indispensable benefits of drinking water and eating healthy – and having great, glowing skin is one of them! After all, your appearance is a reflection of your health, right? Make sure your fridge is full of fruits and veggies, wholesome fats and proteins like seafood, eggs, and beans (to name a few), and don’t take water for granted! Buy a nalgene bottle, fill it up every day and make it a habit to never leave the house without it. They say drinking eight 8 oz glasses a day is best, but I believe the amount depends on the person, their activity level, etc. So my advice is to drink as much as you need to maintain clear urine! Leading a healthy lifestyle will get rid of toxins, emphasize your natural beauty, and make you feel more confident than ever!
Don’t get me wrong. Makeup is fun (I love bold lipsticks and enjoy playing around with different styles, colors and brands) but it shouldn’t be obligatory! Plus – the hot summer days approaching are as good an excuse as any to ditch the face paint. So if you’re thinking about cutting back, turn to these three tips for a little more organic guidance and enjoy the liberation! 

 


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ACNE, AT-HOME PEEL PADS, & MY SKIN WIZARD

IMG_4489Real talk, I used to have terrible (terrible) skin. Ask any roommate I had in college. I would lather layers and layers of cover-up on and try any peel, mask, or toner. Oh, you happened to be selling the latest skin regimen? Great, I’ll take 12 bottles. My skin was so bad that when I smiled it would crack and bleed. Which is really cool and totally not embarrassing at all. It got so bad that I developed this weird way to laugh so I didn’t have to smile – I would open my mouth slightly and make this really weird robot laugh sound. It was horrible & not to mention terrifying.

Anywho, I had atrocious skin for about five years in my late teens & early twenties until I found an actual skin wizard. It was a freak run in that it resulted in me crying in her chair, but she turned my skin around, removed the scars, and continues to keep my skin in fantastic shape. If you are a) looking for a new skin guru (don’t worry, she FaceTimes) b) need an at-home treatment you can count on or c) want to empathize with having shitty skin – this post is for you.

IMG_4481This skin wizard is named Alissa & runs an amazing studio – Porespective – based in Austin, Texas, but the best part is that she FACETIMES! It’s amazing. Plus, if you can’t get yourself down to Austin (although if you are struggling to clear up your skin, she is absolutely worth the trip) she just developed these insane Peel Pads that I can’t get enough of.

It’s a clinical grade peel that contains everything you need to brighten up that skin and get rid of acne from the comfort of your own bedroom. I use mine twice a month and it makes my skin look noticeably brighter and more clear. From the comfort of my sofa, I get an at-home medical treatment for literally a fraction of the price.

Not that the price (or ease) matters, because taking care of your skin is always worth it. It’s more the fact that great skin care is available without the flashy price tag, weird storm trooper light mask, or pain.

IMG_4473As someone who takes the care of their skin very seriously, I would not lead you astray on this front. If you are looking for someone to help turn your skin around, Alissa is your gal. If you are looking for an at-home treatment that won’t break the bank but that has legit results, these Peel Pads are the way to go.

Do you have an acne story and want to share? I am all ears. I know it can sound like such a vain thing, “I have such terrible skin!” But it really can keep you back from relationships, jobs, opportunities, and cripples your self-confidence. Girl, I’ve been there.
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lauren and sylvia

CLEAN UP YOUR MAKEUP ROUTINE

spring makeupHi friends! Joanna here & get excited – we are overhauling your beauty arsenal today. Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet, ladies! I’m going to help you dig through your trusty makeup bag to help you swap out some of your tried-and-true products for new light and airy options that will help you transition into summer without total confusion.

FIRST & FOREMOST, LET’S TALK ABOUT SKIN

The winter can do some major damage to your skin, so be sure to continue exfoliating at least every other night. If you are in need of some heavier action, add a toner to your morning routine. Apply the toner after cleansing and before moisturizing.
Now that we have your skin clean and glowing, swap out your heavy creams for a lighter moisturizer. Try a product that will quickly absorb into your skin. These type of moisturizers will allow your skin to breath easier in warmer & more humid weather conditions.

GET THAT HEALTHY GLOW

With the warmer temps and more sun exposure, we all want to let our skin shine, but not without a bit of coverage 😉  Switch out your full coverage foundation to a BB cream for a lighter application. Most of the BB creams I have found have SPF in them. You can mix the BB cream with a bronzer or highlighter to provide a more sun-kissed glow to ease your way into a bronzer summer.

PRETTY UP THAT POUT

Given the fact that you will be sporting some new sunnies most of this season, skip the four-step eyeshadow palette and grab a cream eyeshadow stick. These are super quick and easy to apply. You can even just blend them in with your finger. Use it all over your lid or just around your lash line for slight definition.

PRO TIP:  grab a color that is complementary to your eye color, that way no matter what you are wearing it will be the most flattering color on you.

Time to brighten up that pout! Don’t be afraid of testing out some new bold lip colors. With fresh and soft makeup, a pop of color on your lips is such a beautiful spring look. Ditch the tubes of lipstick which may or may not melt in your purse while at the beach… and go try a lip pencil! These products are so easy to apply, they offer a lipliner and lipstick in one product and typically are very long wearing.


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image via j.crew

HOW TO MAKE EVERY DAY A GOOD HAIR DAY

IMG_9937There’s something magical about a good hair day, am I right? Sometimes you just wake up & your hair is magically fabulous & it’s like you’ve won the hair lottery. We are big fans of keeping a daily primping routine under 20 minutes (you are a busy gal with important things to do & fussing over your hair shouldn’t be one of them), so we are sharing our fool-proof guide to making every day a great hair day here.

Stop on by & tell us what you think! Have any favorite fool-proof tips – tell us! We would love to know.


lauren and sylvia