Stuff with Heart: April 2016
I realize that it's mid-May, but I wanted to write about my April favorites. Here are the things I really loved last month, and continue to love now!
This bag might be my favorite thing I own. I'm not exaggerating. There has not been a day that has gone by since I got it that I haven't used and loved my Sseko bucket bag. You may be familiar with Sseko Designs for their convertible sandals, which are incredible. The brand is based in Uganda and employs women who are earning money towards their education in a fair and healthy work environment. The bucket bag is a simple design, made from untreated leather. I get compliments on mine almost every time I wear it. I love that I can fit pretty much everything I could need in it, including my water bottle, planner, lunch, and whatever else I need. It's roomy enough to throw a few groceries into if I'm in a pinch, but still sleek and stunning. I just can not say enough good things about this bag. Get it. Your friends will want to steal it, and strangers will tell you what a great bag you have. Seriously.
Click here to get $15 off!
I didn't think I could love a bronzer so deeply, and honestly, I never expected to. In fact, I only tried this product on a whim because I came across someone selling it on Poshmark, and submitted a low-ball offer. I was surprised when the seller accepted, but boy am I ever glad she did! According to the Vita Liberata website, Trystal Minerals are "a world-first self-tanning bronzer that offers bronzing mineral coverage and a subtle lasting tan." Truthfully, I've never really detected a noticeable tan building, but I do use this as a bronzer almost daily. I have received multiple compliments from people who ask if I've been out in the sun recently, and are shocked to hear that it's just a great bronzer. It's that natural-looking. I have it in the number two shade ("bronze,") which I find to be cool enough that it works perfectly as a contour too. Vita Liberata call themselves the world's first non-toxic tanning brand. Their products contain no parabens, perfumes, or alcohols. I entered all of the ingredients into the EWG cosmetics database, and the Trystal Minerals received a rating of 2, which is is great (ratings of 1-3 have the lowest amount of toxins.) This has definitely become my holy grail bronzer product. I've already got my eye on Poshmark and Mercari for another bargain, but I'm definitely willing to pay pull price for this stuff when I run out!
Can one of my favorite things be a person? Sure. This is my circus, so why not? I only started getting into beauty bloggers and YouTubers within the past 6 months or so. I stumbled upon most of them during my quest for more ethical and eco-friendly beauty and self-care products. I've really enjoyed getting to know some eco-beauty bloggers through their YouTube channels and I just adore Mercedes of L’amour et la Musique. Her product reviews seem totally sincere and authentic, and I appreciate how honest she gets about products and also just her life in general. Nothing she says ever comes across as preachy or pretentious, and I genuinely just really enjoy her take on not just eco-beauty, but lifestyle choices in general. Check out a few of my favorite videos: Healthy Lifestyle Product Recommendations, Deciding What Products to Buy, and her own April Favorites.
The name "magic" is fitting for this product. I came across it at a local boutique that carries a few eco-beauty brands and decided to give it a shot, even though I was skeptical. I had been looking for an alternative to disposable face wipes, because I hate how wasteful they are. I didn't believe that a terrycloth mitt could get mascara off without soap, but it really works! I have used it with and without facial cleansing oil and the results are incredible. I use this every night and it really does get off every bit of makeup, without leaving me with raccoon eyes. When I'm done with it, I quickly hand-wash it with a few drops of Dr. Bronner's Soap and hang it to dry for the next day. It's eco-friendly, gentle, and by a brand that doesn't test on animals. Love.
It's so important to stay hydrated. I find that the best way for me to do that is to have water near me at all times. I carry a water bottle with me, but it's not always convenient to refill it. My solution to that problem was to get a water filter that I could keep with me and refill my water bottle or a glass without having to get up and walk to a sink every single time. The Soma water pitcher and carafe are absolutely beautiful. Soma products are shipped in post-consumer recycled packaging, and money from every purchase are donated to charities that get cleaning drinking water to communities around the world. What I love most is that the pitchers are made of glass, and the filters are made from plant-based materials like coconut shells instead of plastics. Click here to get $10 off a purchase from Soma Water Filters.
I mentioned these in my post about ethical underwear, and I have since ordered a few pairs. They are seriously the softest, comfiest skivvies I've ever put on my body. Every pair is certified fair trade, made in USA out of organic cotton. I have honestly been doing my laundry more often so that I can get back into these every week. I will definitely be ordering more as some of my older pairs start to age out of my underwear drawer.
Similar to Poshmark, Mercari is a mobile app that allows users to buy and sell directly from one another. Purchasing used items is great because it keeps unwanted items out of landfills and saves power, resources, and raw materials that would have otherwise been used to create something brand new. That's why I absolutely love shopping for used items online, and I've found some unbelievable bargains on beautiful clothes, and even makeup and beauty products. Plus, I've earned a few hundred bucks in the past few months while clearing out some space in my closet! I love Poshmark for buying and selling items, but unlike Poshmark, Mercari doesn't take any commission rate, which means cheaper prices for buyers and more money for sellers! Receive $2 in credits to spend on Mercari by using my code when you sign up: UNGTQN. If you're interested in trying Poshmark too, click here and use the code JUFTW for $10 off.