Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Kramers Health Foods

Today, I wandered across the street from one of my downtown classes and I came across a great hidden gem in Chicago. Kramers Health Foods on South Wabash in the Loop. I saw it as I was exiting my class building so I thought I'd go in for a bottle of shampoo... I was shocked by the size of the store and the amount of products they had.

You walk in and there are coolers of healthy pre-made foods from kale salads, to sandwiches, to vegan and gluten free nachos. Not to mention the amount of cold drinks they had with the most healthy ingredients. I got a Bragg Organic ACV Apple Cinnamon drink and it was delicious. Only 32 calories!

Keep walking down the store and there are aisles and aisles of nutritious protein bars, vitamins, supplements,
homeopathic remedies, healthy snacks, teas, and a mini grocery section FILLED with non-GMO, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free foods that were priced fairly well. It will make you want things you never knew you needed. Never thought you needed bee pollen capsules? You do now. I don't know what Fenugreek Seed is but I want it.

The right side of the store has everything beauty related ranging from makeup, to hair products, to mouth care, to soaps and everything in between. Of course I picked up a few things... An aloe vera shampoo for oily hair, a bee pollen soap, and Now Solutions sweet almond oil. So excited to try out my new products and expand my cabinet of natural products.

Upstairs they have a Cafe that I unfortunately didn't have time to go in, but from the looks of it, it seemed great! Pressed juices, salads, soups and sandwiches. I'll have to go back one day after class.

I'm so happy I finally went into Kramer's because I know it will become a staple store for me.

--Ms. Makeup

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Skincare Routine

Spring is finally here! Because it is getting warmer, I've switched up my skincare a little with my products from

I wash my face morning and night with the NutriBiotic Non-Soap Skin Cleanser. I love this stuff! It's a PH balancing cleanser so it doesn't leave that tight, dry feeling. It's fragrance free, paraben free, all that good stuff. Highly recommend! Purchase

I'm still using the Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner (morning and night.) I don't think I'll be using a different toner for a very long time. This one is natural, smells amazing and gives your face that extra step of feeling really clean. And it's alcohol free! Purchase

During the day I use the Aubrey Organics Every Day Basics Moisturizer. I do like this moisturizer a lot, but it's not the absolute best I've ever used. You need a very minimal amount because a little goes a looong way with this stuff. I rub it between my hands and apply a layer to my face to where the moisturizer gets very white. I let it sit for a few seconds and then I really rub it in. You can tell upon using this product that it really sinks into your skin. It controls my oily skin without drying. Purchase 

At night I have been using the Now Solutions Avocado Oil. Now, although I do have oily skin, for whatever reason, avocado oil doesn't increase the oilyness in my skin over night. It really seeps into the skin and doesn't just sit as a layer above your pores. This is the greatest way of moisturizing I have ever found for my skin type. Purchase

Finally, before bed I apply a little 100% cocoa butter to my lips for extra moisture at night. Purchase 

My skin has never looked so "normal" and clear before and I really believe it's from these products. Using more natural products has really helped me and I encourage others to make the switch. I have even received a few compliments on how nice my skin has looked lately, which is always a great boost of confidence!

--Ms. Makeup

Friday, March 14, 2014

Obsession: Subtle Ombre

One of my favorite Spring trends is ombre hair. I think the idea is so cool and it gives an awesome twist to your look. I think it's a great way to transition into the Spring season if you want lighter hair but you don't want too much of a drastic change. I actually prefer the more subtle ombre effect rather than those who go overboard. It has to be done right or else you'll look like you haven't been keeping up with your hair appointments (see Ciara below.) But with that being said, this is a grate style for someone who can't run to get their hair done every 6 weeks, as long as it's done gradually enough the first time and it will continue to grow out that way. I have been wanting to get a slight ombre for a while and now that my roots are really growing out, I think I just might go for it!  

What do you think of this trend? 

--Ms. Makeup

Sorry Ciara, but you've gotta fix this...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The products I ordered from on Sunday night arrived so quickly (it's only Tuesday!) I didn't even pay for shipping, so 10 points for iHerb right off the bat! For this post I'm just going to show what I got and discuss my initial thoughts on each item (packaging, smell, taste, etc.) Refer to the picture above for what each product looks like.

1. Reviva Labs Intercell Hyaluronic Acid Night Gel. The first thing I notice is the expiration sticker. 2/17. Most creams/gel/lotions don't have an expiration date, and if they do, I don't notice. This was $9.80 and the container is pretty small so I'm hoping I don't need a lot of product. It smells like the Flarp Putty I used to play with as a kid... It feels nice on my hand, pretty light and the scent goes away after a few seconds. 

2. Every Man Jack Deodorant. First thought: really nice packaging. The cap really suctions back onto the top so that is nice and something I haven't seen before. It smells good (scent is cedarwood), but like a less-strong version of Old Spice. It seems like a normal clear stick deodorant with more organic ingredients, which is what we're going for here!

3. Now Solutions Xyli White Toothpaste. I got the mint flavor and that it is- very minty. Its a gel formula but it's kind of oily. Tastes good, though!

4. NutriBiotic Non-Soap Skin Cleanser. This is what I'm most excited for. This is a fragrance free, ph balanced, hypoallergenic, and paraben free facewash. This had great reviews, so hopefully I like it. It doesn't really have a scent, but it kind of smells like gel (if that's a thing?) It has a really jelly-like formula, too. The bottle is huge and this was under $6, so thats great!

5. Now Solutions Avocado Oil. This is 100% pure avocado and it's supposed to be amazing for your face. It can also be used on the scalp as a conditioner or as an emollient. It doesn't really smell like much, a little bit like oil. 

6. Cococare Argan Oil. I got this for my hair as opposed to using something from a drugstore that only has a little Argan Oil in it. The only ingredient in this bottle is 100% pure authentic and expeller pressed Argan Oil. To my surprise, this doesn't have any scent at all. The ones you buy from CVS that smell amazing, that's all fragrance. Argan Oil doesn't actually smell like that (I have just learned.)

7. Nature's Way AKN SkinCare. This formula had extremely high reviews saying their skin cleared and looked perfect from the inside out. They smell like... vitamins... which they are. Not much to say here. I'm really, really hoping these take away the bumpiness in my skin.

8. Cococare The Yellow Stick. This is just a thick stick of 100% cocoa butter. It's hard to open, so initially, I don't like the packaging. The plastic already cracked on the side, but this was only $1.79. I don't even care about that though because this stuff tastes SO GOOD. It melts on your skin and lips. 

9. Now Solutions Better Stevia. This was one of my freebies. Thank god, because this stuff tastes horrible (on its own at least.) Like bitter medicine. No words. How is this used as a sweetener? Someone explain.

10. Aubrey EveryDay Basics Moisturizer. When purchasing, I didn't realize how small this was. It's only 1.7 fl oz. But it's chalk full of organic oils and extracts, and I can pronounce every ingredient! It smells like lavender and feels very moisturizing on my hand- good consistency. I think I'll like this.

11. Sierra Bees Organic Honey Lip Balm. Last but not least, this is like a smoother Burts Bees type of chapstick. Tastes and smells good and the ingredients are: EVOO, Beeswax, Flavor (?), Sunflower Seed Oil, Non GMO Vitamin E, Honey Extract (all organic.) Love it!

So far, so good! I'm happy with my picks and can't wait to start using them! Hopefully, I'll love these and they can replace my current chemical filled products that are taking over my bathroom. I'm extremely happy with the website ( The shipping was free and it got here in 2 days. 2! I also got $10 off and they have such a great variety of products to choose from. I will definitely be shopping there from now on! I highly recommend!

--Ms. Makeup

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring 2014 Essentials

With the warmer months approaching I thought I would compile my Spring 2014 Makeup Essentials. Let's get ready for Spring with a focus on peach, coral and hot pink!


1. NYX Rouge Cream Blush in "Hot Pink" ($6). Cream blush is great for the warmer days because it lasts much longer than powder blush if you're going to be hot and sweaty. 

2. Bare Minerals The Ready Blush in "The Aphrodisiac" ($22). This peachy coral shade is perfect for a spring day and will add a nice pop of color to the cheeks!

3. NARS blush in "Deep Throat" ($30). Use this blush when you need a little shimmer in your life! This shade really illuminates your cheeks with a peachy glow.

4. MAC Cosmetics blush in "Trace Gold" ($21). This is one of my favorite Spring and Summer blushes because of its unique shade. It's a golden shimmer that can also be used as a highlight. Very Greek Goddess-esque!


5. Revlon Color Burst Matte Balm in #235 "Mischievous" ($8.99). Matte lips are a big trend for spring so try out this cute orange shade for something new and different.

6. Revlon Matte Lipstick in "Stormy Pink" ($6.99). A really pretty Barbie hot pink. Be sure to have moisturized lips when applying matte lip products because they are very drying.

7. MAC Cosmetics lipstick in "Coral Bliss". The perfect coral lip shade for Spring.


8. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in "Sunny" ($2.99). This is a cult favorite bronzer and the price can't be beat! This is a great shade if you have paler skin but want to add a little color that will look natural without the shimmer. 

9. NYX Matte Bronzer in "Medium" ($9.00). This bronzer is comparable to #8^, but comes in a few  darker shades. 


10. MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in "Lightscapade" ($30). This is my all time favorite highlighter for the Spring. Its really light and subtle but it gives a really pretty glow when the sun hits you. It looks awesome on tan skin!


11. Essie "Romper Room"($8.50). This is a new shade from their Spring Collection. Great for a neutral nail.

12. Essie "Style Hunter"($8.50). I am obsessed with this color! It is also from their new Spring Collection. A buildable hot pink. I did three coats to get it really opaque but if you're looking for a hot pink that can also be worn sheer, this is your color.

What are your Spring essentials for the upcoming season?

--Ms. Makeup

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My New Favorite Website


After watching this video on youtube, I instantly went over to iHerb and placed an order. I got oils, lotions, face wash, deodorant, natural sweeteners, etc. I'm so excited about it. The amount of products this website has is insane. Over 35,000 things to choose from! They've got foods, vitamins, makeup, beauty products and stuff for the home. It's easy to choose your price range because they have a wide assortment of prices from low to high. And everything is almost 100% natural, which is amazing! They also have freebies and small amounts of products to test out for a couple of bucks. I can't wait to get my order and review all the products. You can use the coupon code HPV433 for a discount on your first order! 

Coming soon!

--Ms. Makeup


Check out EcoholicBeauty's videos on YouTube!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Natural Beauty: Skin Care

I have recently realized the importance of using all things natural. I have very sensitive skin and the smallest ingredient can change my skin and make me itchy and uncomfortable. Because of this, I have decided to go natural. It can become expensive, but I have compiled a list of my natural skincare essentials that are also affordable: 

Makeup Remover

Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. Simple as that. Since these are oils, they will break down your makeup as well as moisturize. Put a small amount on a cotton pad and that's it!

Face Wash

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap. This comes in both liquid and bar, but I prefer the bar soap. Dr. Bronner's is an amazing brand that is 100% natural, cruelty-free and vegan. I have only tried their soap, but my parents have used their products forever. They have lotions, lip products, shaving cream, etc. They smell amazing and are inexpensive too, at $4.69 a bar. 

I like this soap because it doesn't give my skin that tight feeling after I wash it off. It leaves me feeling really clean and it doesn't break me out or give me any problems. I also use it as a body soap. Peppermint is my favorite! You can purchase it here


Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner. I found this product on a whim off of and I am so happy I bought it! This product is alcohol free so it won't dry out your skin. This toner has witch hazel in it which is often used medicinally, but also for acne. If you like the smell of rose, then you will looove this scent. Since using this, I have noticed a difference in my skin's texture. It is more calm and feels more smooth to the touch. You can purchase it here

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Who knew that something that smells as bad as vinegar would be a miracle, multi-use product?! Not only does ACV have a ton of health benefits when you drink it, but it can also be used as a toner. I thought it would be harsh on my sensitive skin, but not at all! Once you get past the smell, it feels really nice on your skin and the smell does go away once it dries. I take about one part vinegar to two parts water, mix it up and put it on a cotton pad. Feel free to dilute it to your skin's liking. ACV is amazing for skin because it naturally balances the ph, which means it will equal out the oily and dry patches. It also helps with big pores and acne scarring. 
*Can also be used as a conditioner! Again, mix 1 part ACV- 2 or 3 parts water. After shampooing, apply to scalp and hair and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Makes hair feel great- shiny and moisturized!


Sadly, I have yet to find an all natural moisturizer that I actually like. The best I can do is give my favorite paraben free ones-
1. Alba Even Advanced Sea Lipids Daily Cream. Best moisturizer I have used. 
2. Trader Joe's Enrich Moisturizing Face Lotion. Not the best for oily skin, but it does have SPF.


Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask. This is a mask made out of 100% bentonite clay and it's awesome. Completely minimizes pores to help clear up skin. Although this is extremely messy and hard to take off, it's worth it and gives your skin a good deep clean. Can be used with ACV as well! You can buy it here

Don't be fooled by a product that claims to be "ALL NATURAL". Familiarize yourself with unnatural ingredients and check all the products you buy. I have recently come to find that LUSH, the all natural cosmetic company, actually puts methylparaben and propylparaben in quite a few of their products. BAD. Unfortunately I realized this after purchasing the Ocean Salt face scrub (which I love, so this really sucks.) Moral of the story, check the ingredients on everything!!! Don't be lazy, read the label.

Here's's schpiel on why you should care about parabens: 

Parabens are used to prevent the growth of microbes in cosmetics products and can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system. Parabens have been found in biopsies from breast tumors at concentrations similar to those found in consumer products. Parabens may be found in a wide variety of products including shampoos, lotions, deodorants, scrubs and eye makeup, and are found in nearly all urine samples from U.S. adults regardless of ethnic, socioeconomic or geographic backgrounds. Adolescents and adult females had higher levels of methylparaben and propylparaben in their urine than did males of similar ages.

Your skin is an organ and anything that gets applied directly to it will end up in your blood stream... Think about it. To find more amazing natural products, check out here.

--Ms. Makeup

**Added Bonus**
A humidifier really helps your skin retain moisture during the winter and if the air in your home tends to dry you out. I highly recommend. Helps with sleep too!