Oct 24, 2008

Friday Find: Weir Dolls

In the past few months, Malena’s interest in her dolls and playing “mom” has totally spiked. I loved playing with dolls when I was a child. My Friend Jenny and Mandy plus a doll I found in the garbage and I appropriately named her “Garbage” were my favorites. Finally, Malena took a strong interest in her dolls, so I could pretend to be a kid again! Seriously, though, it is such a pleasure to see her taking care of her dolls and being a kind, gentle Mommy (maybe I am doing something right!). 

As many of my readers know, a few years back, I made Malena a Waldorf doll, using a fabulous kit from Weir Dolls. Now that Malena is playing with her doll more, I thought a doll wardrobe expansion was a necessary birthday gift. I wrestled with the option of buying clothes or sewing the clothes myself. Sewing won and of course, with just a week to finish (Why do I always wait until the last minute?). I still have a few pieces to complete, but Malena was thrilled with her new mini wardrobe. 

As I started cutting the fabric, I wondered what I got myself into. I am hardly a seamstress – I only have sewn some simple dresses, smocks and skirts before. Doll patterns with arms, legs and elastic necklines scared me! The Weir Doll Clothing Pattern and Instruction Booklet made sewing teeny tiny clothing fairly simple for a beginner. There were a few parts where I had to spend more time figuring out the instructions. However, I think that is only because I had never sewn pants or shirts before. And even then, I was still able to figure it out and correctly sew it. I made the sweetest little doll lace-trimmed undies, a sundress, a shirt and a long-sleeved dress. The pants and apron are still on the back burner.  

PS – Look forward to more Weir Dolls posts about making Waldorf Dolls. 

Oct 17, 2008

Friday Find: Lauress Pure Mineral Makekup

A couple of years ago, I started converting to natural-based cosmetics. I had a difficult time finding natural alternatives that I liked and fit within my budget. I was also interested in the new mineral makeup but was totally confused by the different brands and ingredients. 

I recently reconnected with my college friend, Lauren Sheahan, and discovered that she created Lauress, a pure mineral makeup line. My problem was solved! Lauren took a lot of time to talk with me about her line’s ingredients, explain the benefits of minerals and how to use mineral makeup. She even made some product recommendations for me based on my skin tone, hair and eye color. 

I was relieved when Lauren assured me that Lauress does not use nano-particles. It was one of my hurdles with mineral makeup. I had read the dangers of nano-particles, which can be found in some mineral makeup (see links at the end of post for more info on nano-particles). Lauren does not use nano-particles because of the lack of long-term studies and concerns about the ability of nano-particles to enter your body. Following Lauress’ commitment to healthy beauty, Lauress does not use Bismuth Oxychloride, also found in many mineral makeup brands. Lauress, a signer the Safe Cosmetics Compact, stays current on the latest developments in the health and beauty industry. 

Yes, I was a bit worried about choosing colors online. Fortunately, Lauren found a solution to that problem – sample sizes! All Lauress products come in samples that are affordably priced, some as low as $1.50. I bought quite a variety of eye color samples and a few face powders. Trying all the different color combinations makes me feel like a little girl playing with mommy’s makeup – only with much better results. And isn’t that what applying makeup should be – fun? I have received lots of compliments while wearing Lauress makeup. Recently, I visited the filming of one of my husband’s commercials. I knew I found a great looking makeup line when the makeup artist always remarked on my great eye makeup!

Here are a few helpful tips from Lauren…

·   If you love shimmer, select Gem Lights eye colors. If you prefer a more matte eye color, go with Star Lights

·   In makeovers, Lauren often starts with a Pearl or Star Light base color and adds a darker Star Light or Gem Light for contouring and a wash of a sheer Gem Light over the entire eye. 

·   Lauress also has specific product application techniques that are useful when using mineral makeup. 

Lauren’s current “go-to” natural look is Cheers Star Light from Lash to Brow, Rendezvous Star Light in the crease and outer corner of the eye, then Graceful Gem Light brushed across the lid and over the Rendezvous, then line with Double Espresso or Chocolate.

Cheers Star LightRendezvous Star LightGraceful Gem LightDouble Espresso Liner

For a bit more drama, she often uses the Simply Sultry combo. 

One Crafty Mama’s favorite combo is Fascination Gem Light all over eyelid, contoured with Murmur Gem Light and lined with Bombshell liner. I also love SoirĂ©e Gem Light, contoured with Heiress Gem Light and lined with Fervor Gem Liner

Murmur Gem Light Bombshell Gem LinerFascination Gem Light

Soiree Gem LightHeiress Gem LightFervor Liner

Don’t forget that you will need some quality brushes to apply mineral makeup. My favorite brush is the flat liner brush – it is a snap to use and gives your liner a more blended appearance. 

For more about mineral makeup, check out this article from the Environmental Working Group. Here is an article from Dr. Andrew Weil speaking about mineral makeup in the Calgary Herald. Enviroblog’s article also discusses nano-particles in mineral makeup. 

Oct 3, 2008

Friday Find: Valon Earth Arts

This summer, my parents went on a road trip from Spokane, Washington to Glacier National Park. One of their favorite stops was Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They were lucky to spend time in this lakeside town during the Farmer’s Market. And I was lucky to receive several gifts purchased from the Farmer’s Market. My mom knows how I much I love finding treasures at local markets and her gifts did not disappoint.

My favorite goodies are a Lemon salve and a Rosemary-Lavender salve from Valon Earth Arts. Valerie, owner of Valon Earth Arts, creates all of her products with inspiration from nature. She also makes Orange Rose and Sage-Mint salves. I love using my salves for soothing dry skin, nails and lips. I even tried putting a light layer on my face before going to bed. I swear my skin looked more refreshed and smooth when I awoke. A great find for a tired mama!

All salves are created during the season when the required organic ingredients are fresh. Valerie uses fresh plants that have medicinal benefits that aid the skin and muscles. The Valon Earth Arts website will soon be revised, so please note that her products now use organic canola oil, not soybean oil.

Now that the leaves are changing color (just barely out here in the California foothills), dry skin weather is fast approaching. Be prepared and pick up a few salves from Valon Earth Arts to soothe and heal your skin. And if you don’t happen to be visiting Coeur d’Alene any time soon, no worries, you can always buy some online.