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Is marketing our friend?

I almost fell victim to marketing twice in one day the other day.

Have you been there?

Some of you reading this might already be nodding your heads, and some of you are about to have your minds blown.

Have you heard of ‘greenwashing‘?

Greenwashing is essentially a wolf in sheep’s clothing- products being marketed to make customers believe that they’re friendlier to the planet and people that use them than they actually are. A great example might be when a company changes its packaging to be white and tan and green and they haven’t removed any chemicals. As consumers, we almost assume that they’re doing a better job, and we feel inclined to ‘give it a shot’. After all it’s ‘only $_____.’

Something beloved and used by many- can be hiding some major chemical secrets.

What I’m hoping to do in this short piece is to show you how easily influenced we are and how essentially we waste our money when we fall for the marketing tactics. Now- I’ve never really delved this deep before, and especially not in written words. This is stuff that you need to know, though. So, here it is.

I’ll start by telling you how I almost fell victim to two marketing ploys recently. One wasn’t even in the skin care/makeup world, and yet- it totally matters. 

1.) I saw a big ‘Going out of Business’ sign, for a well known accessory brand. I’ve never actually purchased anything from this company, and seeing that everything was 20 to 50% off made me kind of giddy inside.

When I went in everything was laid out beautifully, the tones and patterns on the clothes and accessories were very on trend, and I could see myself wearing a lot of the items. I gave myself about 10 minutes to shop, I was on a time-crunch. I grabbed 5 clothing items that spoke to me, Summer clothes I can wear now, and some clothes that I thought would work great for the Fall.

I proceeded to try them on and of course I had to look at the tags.

Made in China, fabric blends, things that aren’t meant to last a long time.

I tried them on anyway, if something was truly a perfect fit and an amazing deal- I might as well give it a go because I’m already here, right?

Right?

I asked myself again.

Well, let’s think about it.

Who made these clothes?

Were they paid fairly?

Are the fabrics going to last?

Am I going to miss that $10, $20 or $30 depending on how on sale these items are?

Is it going to make me joyful in the long run or just joyful in this moment?

I went on to think about why this company was going out of business.

None of the products mean anything to the people that have created them other than a paycheck. They research what’s trendy + current, and they make it. If it doesn’t sell, they can mark it down 75% and still make a profit. What does that tell us about the ingredient of the product or the pay of the people that make it?

Speaking of the people that make it- they are doing whatever they can to provide for their families, and are most likely unhappy with miserable work conditions.

The middle-man purchasers are not considering the ingredient or the material, or if it’s long-lasting.

The people selling them in the store do not have smiles on their faces, no one is interacting with the clients in the store, and you can tell they don’t want to be there.

I got out of my head. Back to reality.

All of the items fit. They looked cute. This is actually sometimes really hard for me.

I put them all down anyway.

I noted the one that I liked best, and set an intention to talk to a local business: Bizzy Bee Playwear to see if she can custom make this style for me (I know she can, she’s SO talented!)

I. Walked. Out. Head held high. So glad that I chose to vote with my dollar. 

2.)After the Going-out-of-business sale, I ran to a grocery store, it is a super cute store, and almost gives the feel of a homey co-op. It was on the way, and the co-op was not. I knew I needed a tomato and yogurt for my lunch and I intended to get some spicy cashews, because I love them. In line, I saw “botanical sunscreen”.

I have plenty of sunscreen, I sell beautiful sunscreen- but curious kitty that I am, I had to peek and look at the label to see what they’re selling as ‘clean sunscreen.’

I saw what I expected to see- a pretty package with scary ingredients. PEG’s, fragrance, dimethicone, octinoxate.

The FDA has even said “Hey, the chemicals in your sunscreens are absorbed through your skin in to your blood and it hangs out there for at least a week. This is the one thing that the FDA has done since 1938 that actually keeps our safety in mind- FYI, they just gave us the education, they haven’t banned ingredients since then.

SO.

Why am I saying all of this? Why does it matter?

Well, I want to show you a glimpse of what happens in my mind when I go shopping. My buying patterns have shifted so deeply since I started to flip labels and vote with my dollar. They’ve shifted because I’m not letting marketing professionals do my shopping for me. I do my shopping for me.

My buying patterns have been even more conscious during July because of Plastic Free July. If you didn’t participate, or weren’t perfect, you have a lifetime to jump on to this extremely important initiative.

What I will suggest to you is that you analyze your buying patterns- are you shopping when you need something or are you shopping because you didn’t plan ahead.

Are you loving the things you’re buying or are you buying the things that are convenient?

To be perfectly frank, I will come clean by telling you that I had a true shopping addiction for years. Enough was never enough, and I never truly loved what I owned, because I was buying cheap- trendy, and convenient items.

Cheap. Trendy. Convenient. These are not what you want. They’re not what I wanted.

Precious. Long-standing. Thought out products. This is what you want.

Now I know what I need. I know the difference between splurging all the time, or splurging on special occasions.

I don’t want to delve deeper than this, I think if you made it to here it was a quick enough read, and you hopefully learned something.

Cheers to shopping differently, to voting with our dollars, and being happy with our purchases.

XO

Rachel

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5 Things I wish I Knew About Skin Growing Up

So hindsight is 20/20, this much we know. But the sins I’ve committed as far as skin care, have been truly nightmarish type scenarios. And I know I’m not the only one. As a gal who cut her own bangs after drinking wine a few weeks ago, let’s stick to skin sins, hair sins would be a much longer post.

Growing up, I can’t even think of what it was my mom used to wash her skin and moisturize with- all I can remember as far as skin remedies in the home were: Eucerin, Noxzema, and Jergens, none of which I would recommend for someone who is trying to minimize chemicals in their routine, as well as have real results.

So here it is, 5 things I wish I could get in a Time Machine and tell to my younger self:

1.) More is not always better (or: bite the bullet and get the one thing that will serve you vs. 5 things you hate.)

I used to purchase every spot treatment under the roof of Walgreens/CVS/Target just to see what would truly work for me. I would buy this type of product most often because it’s what I really wanted to work for my skin- “Please God, just ONE acne-free month, okay!?”  I would, however also buy many eye creams, face creams, masks, toners, whatever- if it was new, and enticing- I wanted it. New brands, marketing and packaging would get me every time- and my discretionary senses or label-reading had not kicked in yet. I still walk down the aisles, just to see what’s out there, but the pull of their promises don’t get me anymore. I flip the box and read the label. I think back to all that I’ve thrown away, drawers of forgotten product that couldn’t deliver, and that is WAY more overwhelming than buying one pricier item that will work. 

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
– William A. Foster

2.) Oil is your friend (really.)

My Mom still tries to convince me that when I have a breakout it’s because of too much oil. Love ya Mom, but nothing’s that cut and dry.

Firstly: your skin produces oil, all on its’ own, as a means to care for the skin. If your skin is dry, it’s going to pump out some oils because your body can’t make water.

For perfectly hydrated skin, you ideally want a healthy balance of water + oil. What happens is, a dehydrated skin will produce more oil to try to get nourished, and then you have the (probably relatable) feeling of: “no matter what I do my skin is oily, I’ve even stopped using moisturizer on my T-zone.”

Well, friend: you’ve confused the heck out of your skin, and solved nothing. When you give your skin the oils that it needs, along with water (H20 internally, and moisturizer externally), your skin will breathe a sweet sigh of relief and the sebum (oil) production won’t be in a state of over-activity.

The key to getting this right, is to use the proper amount: 2-3 drops, on freshly washed skin, or you can use a spray toner to get the best benefits and have it sink in super quickly. What I’m talking about is your skin getting:
Q-U-E-N-C-H-E-D. For real. Like, really, really.

For straight forward hydration for all skin types Kahina Giving Argan Oil($36):


For reduced dryness, increased radiance and bouncier skin: INtelligent Nutrients Renewing Oil Serum ($63):


For the ultimate anti-aging blend of Ayurvedic repairing and regenerative oils,

Dr. Alkaitis Organic Ageless Facial Elixir ($150):

3.) Picking your skin spreads.

So, my Dad used to tell me this. A lot. I didn’t fully grasp the concept though, because I thought it was something I could still manage. I would pick at my skin, and then take a toner with straight up witch hazel or un-cut Tea Tree Oil, and think I was fine. What I didn’t realize until I worked at a spa, was that the spreading wasn’t just on the skin- it was the pores next to the pore I was toying with that were likely to get inflamed, and contract whatever bacteria that ailed the first pore. Stopping picking.. is hard, and I can’t say I’m entirely successful yet. But the thing that has helped the most- is these acne stickers that suck out whatever is inside of a pimple that has a head (or maybe you did toy with it and it needs help healing..) Boost your skin confidence with these- they work.

* These will be in store in the next week or so, so watch for it! Wknd Simple Pimple Patch ($15).


4.) Don’t skimp on cleanser, makeup wipes are only 1/2 a wash!

I always hear people say that if you’re going to skimp or spend less on a portion of your skin care regimen, do it on the cleanser, because you wash it off. A proper cleanse, will set you up for success with the next steps in the regimen, so skimping is not going to work in your favor! Also, if that thought is real, we could skimp on shampoo, body wash, any thing that’s supposed to clean? I don’t think so!

A lot of us give our cleanser a big job: to take off makeup, AND remove dirt, bad oils, bacteria and whatever else we were exposed to in the day. This is just too much for a cheap cleanser to do!

If you want a multi-tasker: oil cleansers will remove all of your makeup and cleanse in one fell swoop. If you are a makeup wipe gal, invest in a makeup wipe with ingredients that serve, rather than strip the skin.

For the best results from your cleanser, wash for 30-60 seconds. Give the cleanser the time to really do whatever it’s designed to do. If you’re like me and you want to feel extra super-duper fresh, you can employe the “double cleanse” method, and cleanse with a makeup removing wash (such as an oil cleanser, or cream cleanser), and then wash a second time with a cleansing gel. Instead of doing a second cleanse, you can opt for a toner to make sure every bit of makeup is off your face so you can rest assured before you go in with your hydrators, that your skin is clean.

If you love a squeaky clean, this Fantastic Face Wash ($28) is the stuff of dreams:


If balancing is more of your goal, Kahina Giving Beauty has you covered ($45):

If ultra hydration is more of what you’re aiming for, Sundara Holistic Ojas Cleanser will make you glow in just one use ($27):

 

5.) If you’re skipping SPF, you might as well throw all your expensive skin care products in to the bin.

I mean it. Get out the calculator and check how much all of your goodies are worth. They’re not cheap, and when you want a product that will work hard and give results? Well, you’re shelling out some hard earned dollars, with full confidence that it’s going to work. And? It will!

But when you roast, toast, shake n’ bake or whatever else in the sun without protection, the damage is going to outweigh the good.

Get on it, sister.

If you have a fear of sunscreen breaking you out, there’s options– options like Farizad’s Veil, that you can mix in with an oil of your choice ($34).


or this delightfully lightweight every day SPF 18 from Ursa Major VT ($54):

That is IT! Are there any things you wish you knew regarding skin when you were younger? Remember younger can mean yesterday, it’s okay to learn new things all the time!!!

Hope this struck a chord in you.

Be blessed!

Rachel

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Welcome to the Greenhouse

Have you ever had a toxic relationship?

Love/hate/love again– it becomes incredibly frustrating and confusing. Founding member of Greenhouse Beauty, Rachel Postovoit, has had this type of frustrating relationship with her skin as long as she can remember. The wind would blow and she would break out. She would pick, poke, prod, pray, and try so hard to have better skin but it didn’t seem to be in the cards. She had always liked the idea of clean ingredients but with so many shiny brands and new things to try all the time, she did just that- tried everything, confusing her skin for years, and hiding behind makeup to feel beautiful.

It’s time to come clean.

Rachel started to flip her boxes and peel back those sticker labels to see the long list of unrecognizable ingredients, cheap ingredients, filler ingredients, contributors to what had been confusing and damaging her skin.  Then, she started throwing things away.
She stopped using products she used to love, and she started doing all of the research.
Research led to scouring the internet, instagram, obsessing over celebrity green makeup artists and realizing that it was hard to find these beautiful brands in person if you don’t live in a major city or more conscious neighborhood (looking at you, Boulder!).

Leading the charge for this movement…

Leading the charge, being the change, growing people’s minds in the
arena of self care, and self worth- this is Rachel’s calling. Greenhouse Beauty embodies that calling. July 2018- the doors of Greenhouse Beauty will be open to all in Old Lyme, CT. Commit to self love by scheduling a consultation, or just stopping by to see what all the fuss is about.