Saturday, July 26, 2014

GreenBeautyLooter has MOVED!

I'm excited to announce--I have moved to! I have migrated all of my posts, so you will be able to find everything there too. Please stop by there to take a look around--I've added a few new posts to that site. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Trifecta French Toast Recipe (Gluten-Free, Healthy & Easy)

I found a recipe online months ago, and I'm having trouble finding the original recipe (I know, I'm terrible) because I wanted to give the original recipe credit. I've tried this recipe several times and each time it's delicious! The best part is that it's soooo easy….even for beginner cooks, this is a home run.

1 egg
2 slices of gluten-free bread (I used Udi's wheat bread)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1.5 tsp honey (I used the organic honey from Trader Joe's)
cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)
coconut oil (as frying oil)

1. Mix egg, vanilla and honey together.

2. Put each slice of bread in the mixture for a few minutes on each side to soak up the deliciousness.

3. Put some coconut oil in the pan and cook it on the stovetop on each side until it's a golden.

4. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top of each slice and enjoy!

Gluten-Free French Toast, Turkey and a Banana-breakfast of champions

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Green Protein Smoothie

I've been trying to eat healthy for the past 1.5 years and have had some really great successes and some complete fails. One easy, foolproof idea is to blend your own smoothies. The key here is to have the right tool: a high-speed blender (I recommend a Blendtec or a Vitamix). I have really abused my trusty Blendtec and promise to love it until it poops out on me. It's been my most useful purchase of 2013 and I would recommend getting one.  I've made smoothies, soups, sauces, salad dressings and different types of flour. It can even make ice-cream, but I haven't ventured there yet. Yes, it's loud, but it has to be because of it's strong motor and the non-sharp blades (you won't cut yourself on it, ever). Because of it's safe, non-sharp blades + crazy horse power = fluffy smoothies (veggies have no chance of surviving and being chunky).

I've been doing the Daniel Plan with my small group and tried this protein-filled, green smoothie and it tasted great!

I blended together:

3/4 of a ripe nectarine or peach
1 c almond milk (vanilla)
1 scoop protein powder (vanilla)
1 small ripe banana
3 dinosaur kale leaves

I press the "whole juice" option and walked away. Less than a minute later, came this beauty--fluffy and delicious! This yielded about two large servings, so I saved the second one for breakfast the next morning. Try blending different combinations of stuff in your Blendtec/Vitamix, you'll quickly see how addicting it is.

Tip: I would recommend always putting a ripe banana in your smoothies, because that will sweeten it up and make anything you blend taste better. You can also try adding a few drops of liquid stevia if your smoothie isn't as sweet as you'd like it to be. Happy blending!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My Current Skin Care Routine (Non-Acid)

I'm posting my current skin care routine because I've gotten a lot of questions about what I use. Please note, I have sensitive, break-out prone skin, but this stuff regulated my skin over time and now keeps clogs in check. Check out my current skin cocktail:

AM Routine:

Eye products and not.a.sponge not pictured.
Cleanse: 302 Sensitive Cleanser Rx -Super gentle and doesn't leave your face too dry. Sometimes I actually feel it drawing out hard clogs (sorry if that grossed anyone out there, but it's true). I rotate this cleanser with my 302 Acne Cleanser Rx to prevent/treat clogs.

Tone/Hydrate: 302 Calming Mist Rx (has green tea so it's got antimicrobial and antioxidant properties) followed by 302 Remedy Rx (hydrates and provides SPF 15).

Eye cream: Aurelia Revitalise and Brighten Eye Dew (which I just found out was the WINNER of the beauty shortlist awards for 2014!). See full review here.

PM Routine:

Cleanse: 302 Sensitive Cleanser Rx

Tone: 302 Calming Mist Rx

Treat: Rotate 302 C-Boost (Mon/Weds) with 302 Drops Rx (Tues/Thurs). C-Boost is my vitamin C serum--I use it because my skin seems brighter and nicer the next morning. The 302 Drops Rx I use as a preventative for wrinkles. At my age, it's about prevention, because once the wrinkles make their home on your face, it's hard to get them evicted.

Hydrate: Thin layer of Remedy Rx on top of serum. On nights I'm not using a treatment (Fri-Sun), Calming Mist Rx and Remedy Rx (yes, even Remedy Rx at night--it's naturally got SPF from the zinc oxide, but it makes for a great moisturizer because it hydrates and is thte only moisturizer that doesn't break me out on my all-too-sensitive chin).

Eye Cream: Aurelia Illuminate and Smooth Puff Reduction Eye Cream

Additional treatments:

-Revive Rx on the days I have breakouts (typically from trying new makeup that doesn't agree with my skin--the price I pay for being a beauty product junkie).

-302 Treatment mask once a week when I need it.

-Not.a.sponge konjac puff 2-3x a week for exfoliation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ilia Gloss, RMS Products and Quick Makeup Tips

WAHOO!! I discovered a brick and mortar store in south orange county that carries a lot of green brands I've been dying to try--Roots: The Beauty Underground in Laguna Beach. There are a few other stockists scattered around orange county, but I figured after green makeup shopping, I could walk around and enjoy the beach afterwards.

Who works there: hair stylists and a makeup artist I adore! Her name is Alise and she was super helpful and sweet. Woman knows her makeup and how to apply it. I probably could've stayed there for days talking makeup and skincare with her.

What is it: It's a hair salon in the back and a green makeup and skincare store in the front.

When: I visited this place twice last month and they let you try on all the makeup you want.

Why did I go: You can't really tell makeup colors online, nor the texture. I had to try the stuff on in-person to make sure the colors looked good and that the stuff didn't break me out. Once I figured that out, it was easy to walk out with some products.

Remember my motto about trying stuff before you buy it?? This store is a dream come true for me because most green make up lines are sold online and not in stores. Colors are never as accurate as you hope they are and my biggest concern is breakouts. I've had some bad experiences with some natural makeup lines, so this was and still is my biggest challenge.

I went there and loved a few things--here is what I ended up getting:

1. RMS Un-Powder:

This is the green version of the Makeup Forever HD Powder. It's 100% silica powder, and it's non-nano. Nano particles are a problem because they are small enough to penetrate cells. Studies have also found them to be dangerous if inhaled because particles that are too small (nano-particles) can actually get stuck in your lungs. AH! To learn more, read this. I like RMS because they don't use nano-particle-sized anything in any of their makeup, so I can feel good about using their products. This powder is supposed to keep oil at bay. I don't really wear face makeup, so this is my powder and finishing powder in one. I'm still on the fence about this this purchase, but will write more about this one again in a few months. It wasn't a purchase I instantly fell in love with like the others….so we'll see. 

2. RMS Living Luminizer:

WOW. Cream-based makeup used to freak me out because of the increased break-out risk factor, but this stuff didn't break me out at all. I use my fourth-finger, swirl it in the pot 5-6 times and pat it on top of the cheekbones. The castor and coconut oils in the luminizer highlight the area nicely and gives the illusion of an "inner glow." It doesn't last all day, but definitely lasts for many hours. The jar is small and the price is high, but the stuff will last forever, so I would gladly purchase this again.

3. Ilia Lip Gloss in Heartbeat:

I love this gloss. Looks bright red in the tube, but provides just a sheer layer of glossy, light redness to the lips. Can be layered on for more depth of color. Does not feel sticky either, pure awesomeness.

Another great makeup brand is Vapour--I really loved trying on some of their stuff! Their stuff also didn't break me out. I'm excited to write reviews about them soon. 

Some quick makeup tips:

An interesting makeup tip we picked up from the makeup artist at Roots: bronzers and blushes make great eye shadows. Since those two products are designed to go well with a multitude of skin tones, they also make for great eye shadows. I've been using my bronzer as an eye shadow for the past three weeks and I've been loving it. 

She even used an Ilia lipstick with an eye shadow brush as eye shadow on my friend and she looked fabulous! Genius, I tell you. 

Take a look in your makeup bag for these multiple use products! It's nice knowing your makeup can multi-task, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Update: Non-acid skin care regimen (2.5 years and going)

**Warning: You are about to read a LONG post.  But there is lots of information and details for those that are interested!**

It's been almost 2.5 years since I started my new skin care routine that required removal of acids (lactic, glycolic, salicylic, tretinoin, etc.) and I'm glad I made the switch.  Here's an update of my progress that's been long overdue.

Let's see….in my last "non-acid skin care" post, I left off at about 3 weeks into my new 302 skincare routine.  

Here's how my skin has been doing for the past 2.5 years since the change: grrrrreat (I used to love those Frosted Flakes commercials).

I started off by changing my entire skin care routine, which required me to SIMPLIFY everything.  I used to be one of those girls that took 30 minutes to get ready for bed, because I had such a complicated evening skin regimen.  It's crazy how easy it was for me to put a ton of product on my skin in hopes of making it better. Now, I use very few products, managed to cut my evening routine in half and my skin looks better than it did when I was loading it with products.

So what did I do exactly?  I started by weaning my skin off of acids or any other strong ingredient.  The 302 line wants you to get your skin to baseline before you start adding in anything with active ingredients to ensure you don't get any bad reactions or bad breakouts. Oftentimes, our skin gets addicted to ingredients in the products we use, so this weaning process will vary from person to person.

Two weeks of no retinol, glycolic or salicylic acids, and I was scared of breaking out. Strange thing was, I didn't break out during the weaning phase. Typically, if I stopped any anti-acne treatment, I would break out. I attribute this to the quality of the products I was using (even though most of those products were very high-end). My skin did get extremely tight and dry, which was a sign my skin was addicted to products I was using.

During the weaning process, I used just three products in the 302 skincare line:  Sensitive Cleanser Rx (cleanser), Calming Mist Rx (toner made primarily of green tea), and Remedy Rx (a micronized zinc oxide cream).  I got the Rx versions of everything because the Rx versions are free of essential oils and I didn't want to add anything in that could potentially aggravate my skin.  This was my routine for day and night for about 2 weeks.  After then, I started on their A-Boost, which is their non-acid vitamin A serum, by applying it as a pre-wash 1-2x/week (I'll write a separate post about what a "pre-wash" is, or if you can't wait, feel free to send me a message and I'll happily respond). After a week of that, I began adding in the 302 serum in the evenings on Mon-Weds-Fri only.  The 302 serum contains the Avogen molecule the 302 company is known for, and is supposed to renormalize cells (Avogen is a lipid found in certain avocado varieties). One month later, I added in their A-boost once a week on Tuesdays in the evenings as a leave-on treatment to keep acne away.  The evenings I wasn't using the A-Boost or 302 Serum, I would use Remedy Rx. This company doesn't advocate using actives daily, because they say it weakens your skin and makes it less effective when used daily (skin stops reacting to strong products if over used, as a self-protective mechanism). Their ideal evening recommendation involves rotating 302 serum/drops (Mon), A-Boost (Tues), C-Boost (Weds) and giving your skin a day to rest on the 4th day (Thurs), then using the three items again. None of the boosts should be more than 3x/week or used on consecutive days. Interesting stuff--most companies try to get you to use their stronger products every night, so this was an interesting concept for me to accept.

The most unexpected thing happened--over the next few months, my skin became less oily, less congested, less sensitive and more supple.

Before the change, I used to get congestion around my chin and forehead.  Every esthetician said that the chin congestion was "hormonal" and that there was nothing I could do to help it. I tried every night treatment to put on these monthly bigger zits that would appear--I also liked the burn that came with these overnight treatments because I thought that meant it was "working." I thought I had to accept this because it was hormones, right? No, I don't believe that anymore.  A few months into this program, my chin was no longer congested.  Even now, I hardly get any big, red pimples (*knock on wood*), unless I try some new makeup and anger my skin. 

Progressively, people started commenting on how "nice" my skin was.  Since my skin was less oily, I blotted less often and the area around my nose became less red.  For many years prior, I was using Retin-A Micro or a different form of retinol, and I think this really thinned out my skin, contributed to the redness around my nose, and lead to super dry lips. I'm REALLY glad I'm stopped using this stuff.

It's been 2 years since I started and my skin has balanced out immensely.  It looks healthier, feels thicker/more supple, oil production has decreased, and zits are kept at bay. I had no idea simplifying my routine and finding this brand would help change my complexion so much.  I've never stuck with any skincare line for longer than a year, so 2+ years is a pretty big deal for this skincare junkie.

I still get the occasional spot, but they're not typically the big, ugly ones--they're completely manageable. 

I love the line so much I asked if I could carry their line when I open up a green beauty shop. I have tried most of their products, but I won't be selling all of them-- just the ones that I use and really do love. Go to to see the 302 products I carry. Use code buy302 to access the 302 products page.

Please please ask me if you have any questions! It's a professional line and products must be used as directed to be effective. If you have a particular skin care concern, let me know and I can recommend some things.

pps. A word about the weaning process: 302 will warn you that the transition process varies from person to person…some have no problems with the transition, others have to battle initial dryness, and some break out for a few weeks/months before their skin normalizes and gets better.  I have read blogs of others who broke out for 3 months before their skin normalized and their breakouts went away! Yikes.  I was lucky enough to only get dryness for the first 2 weeks (skin felt tight like I got a face lift) with no new breakouts. Every person is different, just throwing that disclaimer out there. 

I'll be posting about my CURRENT skin care regimen in a few weeks for those of you who are interested! Thanks for reading. :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Handy Beauty Tools: Muji Acrylic Cases and Benjabelle Brush Tree (Daisy)

Muji Acrylic Case
Photo courtesy of

I broke down and purchased this for myself late last year--every vlogger owned at least one of these acrylic cases, so I had to jump on the bandwagon. I purchased the two drawers with a flip top lid ($26.75) because I needed a home for some of my larger makeup brushes. I hate the thought of leaving them out in the open because eventually tiny dust particles will settle into them, and I hate dust. I bought this for myself last christmas and I love it! I'm also eyeing this 3 drawer one to segregate some of my green makeup.

Measures: 25.5cm x17cm x 9.5cm

Benjabelle Brush Tree - Daisy

I purchased this brush tree ($19.95) a few months ago because I learned that brushes should be dried at a downward angle, if not upside down. Did you know that? It's because the ferrule (the part of the brush that crimps the brush hairs down and connects to the brush handle) contains glue, and getting it wet can mess with the glue that keeps those brush hairs together. This can lead to loss of brush hairs and a shorter life span of your expensive makeup brushes. Also, if you dry it upside down, the brush dries a bit faster since it can dry all around. This brush tree can accommodate 6 large brushes and 8 smaller brushes to dry at once. They have other brush trees that can hold more brushes, but I found this one was perfect for me.

Photo from
Either would also make perfect gifts--at under $30 each, these handy gifts are practical, yet fun to own.