Think Dirty

My roommate just introduced me to this new app, called Think Dirty. You tell it which beauty products you use or are considering purchasing, and it tells you how harmful it potentially is to your body. Products are rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst. Pretty cool, if you want to find out just how “organic” and “natural” your products claim to be. According to a helpful little video on their website, women use, on average, 12 products a day. Each of those products contains ~14 “mystery” ingredients, which we can assume are harmful in one way or another. 12 products/day x 14 mystery ingredients = 168 unique chemicals/day–some of which are toxic. That adds up to a whopping 61,320+ chemicals a year–with 20,000+ potentially toxic! That’s a very frightening figure.

I immediately started entering in products I own and use every day. I was unpleasantly surprised. I don’t try to be some all-natural makeup maven, but… you guys… almost all my products I entered were a 9 or 10!

My Dove deodorant? 10. My precious They’re Real! mascara? 10. Benefit High Beam? 10. Both my shampoo and conditioner, as well as my body wash, got 10’s. The only thing I entered that got lower than an 8 was my MAC lipstick–and I don’t even wear it that often!

Cue the panic. What have I been DOING to myself??

I ended up on Birchbox’s shop, because I remembered seeing that their limited edition month is all about natural products. I entered those items into the app, and–uh oh. Not many of them got low ratings. I followed a link to a category entitled “Ingredient-Conscious.” The list boasts 237 products, and I used Think Dirty to view as many of their ratings as possible. I rounded up a couple of low-scored items that I’m adding to my list — check them out below!

think dirty

{1} Acure Organics Body Wash. My current body wash, Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash, has a Think Dirty rating of 10 (omg), and I can only imagine what sort of chemicals are stuffed into it. This Acure body wash is chock full of organic, biodegradable ingredients–good for your skin, and for the environment! Moisturizing agents like Moroccan argan stem cells and antioxidant CoQ10 blend with mint and lilac to exfoliate and soften skin. And I can only imagine how delicious that coconut pumpkin scent must be. $9.99 on; Think Dirty rating of 0.

{2} Tata Harper All Natural Resurfacing Mask. The word “resurfacing” draws to mind harsh treatments such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels. A peek at the ingredients list of this mask draws the mind away that harshness and invokes feelings of pampering and relaxation. A cocktail of pink clay, beet, white willow, aloe vera, and witch hazel that accomplishes anything and everything you could want from a skin mask–hydration, clear skin, reduced redness, pore shrinkage, etc.–this mask is gentle on the face and on the wallet. At least, when you compare it to the GlamGlow masks that I’m so enamored with. $55 on; Think Dirty rating of 0.

{3} Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Pore Penetrator. I’m not prone to blackheads or clogged pores, but I love a product that gets in there and cleans them out anyways! This pore penetrator does just that–uses a mixture of grapefruit extract, willow bark, olive oil, and licorice root to give your face a deep clean and promote overall glowiness {which may be partially attributed to the knowledge that you’re treating your skin right}. $24 on; Think Dirty rating of 0.

{4} Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Cleansing Foam. I’ve always loved foaming cleansers because of how squeaky clean they make my face feel! However, I’ve been warned by multiple sources to avoid them due to the overdrying effects they can have on the skin. Not this stuff. Dr. Jart has done it again, producing a foaming cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin. Featuring a whopping three times the oxygen of water, this cleanser promises to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. A few other ingredients that help with that: antioxidants from blueberries and green tea, lycopene, caviar extract, and lemon extract. $24 on; Think Dirty rating of 0.

{5} Egyptian Magic Skin Cream. Ahh, this stuff. I received a sample in a Birchbox several months ago and was immediately smitten. It has an odd consistency–almost like chunky Vaseline–which made me nervous to put it on my face. I was so glad I did! It’s a cure-all. And the best part? There are only six ingredients: olive oil, beeswax, honey, royal jelly, bee pollen, and propolis {I had to look this one up–it’s another honeybee byproduct, used as a sealant in the honeycombs}. Knowing that you’re putting such natural ingredients on your face has never felt better–especially when you wake up with baby soft skin. $26 for 2 oz, $38 for 4 oz on; Think Dirty rating of 0.

{6} rms beauty Beauty Oil. I might just be a sucker, but the words “cult status” always draw me in. This lightweight oil, infused with licorice root, rosehip seed oil, buriti fruit, and turmeric promises to hydrate and brighten skin while fighting inflammation and preventing signs of aging. You can’t argue with the flawless faces of Gisele Bündchen, Miranda Kerr, and Zoe Saldana! $74 on; Think Dirty rating of 0.

{7} COOLA SPF 30 Sport Spray. Sun protection is so important, you guys. I get the feeling that a lot of sunscreens are loaded with chemicals and unsafe ingredients–but we have no choice, we have to use them! Enter COOLA. This line of suncare is healthy and natural! I’ve had a sample of this spray, and it smells amazing. It features lots of natural ingredients–strawberry and cucumber extract, red raspberry oil, aloe vera–but also combines four healthy sunscreens to protect your skin. $32 on; Think Dirty rating of 4.

{8} 100% Pure Hand Buttercream. This rich hand cream is 100% natural, vegan, and gluten-free! Need I go on? Well, I’m going to anyways. Lots of natural {duh} moisturizers are found in this stuff, including avocado oil and the new cult favorite–coconut oil. An old favorite, shea butter, is also included, as well as plenty of vitamins and antioxidants to keep your hands looking and feeling young. Hands age so fast! This cream helps to keep ’em fresh. $8 on; Think Dirty rating of 0.


I hope this has helped to open your eyes to the dangers lurking in your shower and cabinet shelves! I for one will struggle with giving up a lot of the products I own, but it’s great to know that safe and healthy options are out there if you want them. I don’t think that switching to all-natural products is a perfect fit for everyone–case in point, my skin would erupt without my prescription gel, which is probably stuffed with icky, unpronounceable ingredients–but even a gradual shift towards natural products is better than nothing! I’m going to continue to self-educate myself about the products I use, and will share my journey on Lovely! Stay tuned 🙂


Best. Discovery. Ever.

I love Chicago.

Seriously. You never know what you’re going to stumble upon on your Sunday evening walk. There’s a huge new Walgreens near my apartment that just opened up a few months ago, and I finally paid it a visit a couple days ago. My roommate had mentioned that it housed a pretty impressive beauty section featuring some brands we both love–Klorane, for example–so my curiosity was piqued. But I was not expecting to see a beauty emporium rivaling Ulta and Sephora upstairs from a sushi bar, cafe area, extensive wine and liquor section, and a huge cooler with fresh fruit. Mind. Blown.

The beauty section is called the Look Boutique. I did a little research and discovered that not long ago, Walgreens bought Duane Reade (a NY drugstore chain), which had begun to feature a Sephora-like beauty concept in order to elevate their image {which is a totally cool idea}! So, select Walgreens across the country are remodeling and beginning to feature Look Boutiques. Chicago has three, I think–Clark/Diversey {near me, just opened} in Lakeview; Milwaukee in Wicker Park; and State Street in the Loop. The one in Wicker Park sounds gorgeous–check out this article I found about it here!

I just think this is the coolest concept, ever. A couple of the brands I saw when I first walked in–TheBalm, Cargo, Klorane, Pop Beauty, Avene, La Roche Posay–aren’t really extensively carried at Sephora or Ulta. I did a quick search, and Sephora only carries four TheBalm products. Ulta doesn’t carry it at all. I’m super stoked to have found the complete line there! I used to use Bahama Mama bronzer back when it was still sold at Sephora, but it kind of fell off my radar. Birchbox also samples TheBalm pretty frequently; I’ve tried their Mary Lou-Manizer highlighter, as well as In-Stain blush, and loved them both. My roommate got a sample of their How Bout Them Apples cream blush, and it’s the sweetest-looking product I’ve ever seen.

The best part is, this week only–it’s all 20% off. All of it! As long as you have a Walgreens rewards card, and if you don’t, it takes about two seconds to obtain one. I’m planning on going back later this week before the sale ends and stocking up. On my list:

{1} TheBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer
{2} TheBalm Stainiac Lip & Cheek Stain
{3} TheBalm Frat Boy Shadow/Blush
{4} Cargo New Essential Lip Gloss in Fresno
{5} Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle {a Birchbox discovery, and my all-time favorite dry shampoo ever. I was so thrilled to discover that the Look Boutique carried it.}

It’s a little difficult to find information on these Look Boutiques, so I’m not certain where they’re popping up at. I know there are several in NYC, the three in Chicago I mentioned, and at least one in LA and Houston. Safe to assume major cities will be getting them first, but keep your eyes peeled!

Gold Medal Bronzers

This is a sad time for me. My precious Benefit Hoola bronzer is almost out. I hit the pan months ago, but I just can’t let go. I’ve been scrubbing my bronzer brush into the corners of the little box trying to get every last bit out like a total barbarian. It’s almost time to replace. BUT. Do I repurchase the same bronzer again? I’ve written about my issues when it comes to stepping into Sephora… I might find a product I totally love, but then I hesitate when it comes time to repurchase because THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM AND PLAY WITH! That being said, I have some serious thinking to do. Bronzer is a major part of my makeup routine, and I can’t just grab any old one and hope it works for me! I have a few options in mind… check them out!


{1} Benefit Dallas — It’s an outdoor glow for the indoor gal! Benefit’s newest pressed powder is a sun-kissed rose glow for rich, enviable beauty in a box. Sweep Dallas across cheeks, chin, and forehead to lift away signs of dullness and give your complexion a naturally radiant and vibrant glow—so sheer, it’s a wash of color that will benefit just about every skin tone. $28.

{2} NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna — Nars Bronzing Powder is a true brown-based bronzer with a gold shimmer fusion that’s excellent for creating or enhancing the look of healthy, glowing, tanned skin. $38.

{3} Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Light/Medium Matte Bronzer — Too Faced has combined the natural detoxifying effects of real cocoa powder with their signature bronzing pigments to create a lighter version of their bestselling Chocolate Soleil original matte bronzer. The Milk Chocolate shade is perfectly suited for pale to medium skintones for a touch of summer warmth all year-long. $30.

{4} BECCA Mineral Bronzing Powder in Duende — Finely spun to a silky finish, this long-wearing powder casts a natural sunkissed glow perfect for contouring and highlighting lackluster areas. The unique formulation includes Nylon-12 for excellent adherence and long-wear, and light-reflecting particles to create a soft, youthful finish with subtle warmth. $40.

{5} Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzer in Tahiti — Decide just how hot you want to be. This bronzer imparts 100% buildable coverage that’s built for your skintone and imparts a subtle, luminous finish. Along with rice lipids for creamy texture and smooth application, it also contains a coconut oil skin emollient that gives off a lightly toasted coconut scent. Adding to the fun, a custom-embossed design evokes sand and waves. $28.

{6} Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer in Light — This smooth, oil-free powder gives face, shoulders, and décolletage a seductive bronze look. Formulated with a unique oil-control complex, this powder also keeps skin shine-free and comfortable. $36.

{7} Tarte Maracuja Bronzing Serum — Invigorate your complexion as you impart a gradual, subtle radiance with Tarte’s revolutionary Bronzing Serum. This multitasking elixir is powered by maracuja and plant extracts to hydrate, brighten, and even skin tone as it helps fight signs of aging for a firmer, brighter, smoother appearance. The infused self-tanning complex delivers instant radiance as it imparts a gradual, natural-looking bronze for a healthy, glowing complexion over time. The fragrant silky texture is infused with herbal notes—bergamot, gardenia, lily of the valley and jasmine—for a spa-like pampering with every application. $46.


I feel like someday I’m going to look back on my life and say to myself, “really? You were willing to spend THAT much on bronzer?”

all images and product descriptions taken from

EDIT: Okay, so I just wrote a post that will be published on Wednesday {check back to read it!} and in it, I mention a bronzer I have decided to purchase. It is none of the ones listed above. But I did enjoy the research that went into this post, and I might end up buying one of these in the future anyways!

Glowy Makeup

I know I’m super late in the game here, but I finally got around to checking out the Anthropologie x Baublebar collection, and needless to say, I am hooked. The prices definitely reflect that they jewelry is being sold at Anthro, but they’re all so gorgeous I can’t help but covet them. {Check out a few of my favorites here, here, here, and here}

What really struck me, though, was the model for the Bougainvillea Necklace. More precisely, her makeup.


This photo is so beautiful. Neutral pastel eyes, subtly glowing skin, defined brows, and that gorgeous flower! My makeup wishlist just got a whole lot longer. In the meantime, I’m recreating the glow with the following products….

glowy 1

…and adding these beauties to my list.

glowy 2

Sephora Luminous Foundation Primer // Revlon PhotoReady Makeup // Benefit High Beam // Sephora Collection Moonshadow Baked Palette in In The Tropics // Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in LSD // Benefit Lollitint

Happy glowing!

A Little Makeup Wish List

Hello there! Hope everyone has had a good week, and if you’re in the Chicago area–stayed dry! The snow was bad enough, but the slightly warmer temperatures and downpour of rain has resulted in some pretty grungy-looking hair that I am NOT a fan of; as well as discovering a hole in one of my rain boots which has caused one wet sock and major discomfort. Can spring just get here already?

Despite the weather, I had a good week! My aunt and uncle welcomed their first children yesterday–twin boys! Their names are Rowan Dean and Ryan James. They are absolutely darling. I’m dying to go home and meet them, but I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get away. It’s such a strange feeling adding new cousins to the mix at this age. This brings the total of grandkids {on this side of the family} up to 17! I’m the oldest, at 24, and the youngest is 10. When the twins are my age, I’ll be almost fifty. This strikes terror in my heart. Anyways, I digress. I started teaching myself German this week using the DuoLingo app on my iPhone, and so far so good! Since I was born in Germany while my papa was in the Air Force I have dual citizenship until I’m 26, and I’m half German anyways, so it seemed right to start learning!

I’ve got a couple new posts in the pipeline here–I’ve got one more product from my February Birchbox to test out, and then I’ll be posting my reviews. I’ve also got a little experiment in the works, so watch for a full-out, lab report-style post in the next couple weeks. Today, however, is all about the new {to me} beauty products I’ve got my eye on–things I am dying to try ASAP!

beauty wishlist

{1} Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Beauty Balm. For me, BB creams have been a hit or miss. I typically wear foundation to cover up my redness and uneven skin tone, so I shy away from sheer products that let my imperfections show through. But even I have to admit, a full face of makeup doesn’t always feel that great on my skin. I’m ready to try something new and a little healthier. Who knows–maybe that will end up getting rid of the redness!

{2} BECCA The One Perfecting Brush. This brush. This big, luscious brush. Why is it that you can be perfectly satisfied with a tool or product you already own–and then a bigger, better version comes along and blows it out of the water? I was satisfied with my current bronzer brush until I heard about this one. I want so badly. As far as I’m concerned, this brush is the Holy Grail of highlighting-and-contouring, and I won’t rest until it’s in my makeup bag.

{3} Sampar Velvet Cleansing Milk. I’m on the lookout for a new cleanser to pair with my best friend, Mia {that would be my trusty Clarisonic}. My {real} friend Tiffany, who is studying to become the best Aveda-trained esthetician in the fine city of Chicago, recommends steering clear of foaming cleansers, as they can dry skin out. I just might have to add this gentle cleanser to my regime.

{4} GlamGlow Super Mud Clearing Treatment. It wasn’t until I started blogging that I realized how incredibly dramatic I am when it comes to beauty products. Example: just now, I started to describe the GlamGlow Super Mud mask as “an incredible, life-saving little pot of goopy mud that literally sucks the gunk out of your pores as it dries and makes your skin GLOW.” Normally I would tell myself to tone it down a little, but in this case I just can’t. THIS STUFF IS THAT GOOD. It’s also horrifying expensive–$70 for 1.2 fl oz; or a whopping $200 for 8 fl oz {note–the  Clearing treatment only comes in the 1.2 fl oz jar, as far as I can tell. The Tinglexfoliate treatment comes in the 1.2 and 8 fl oz sizes.} It uses some pretty flashy technology that I don’t fully explain to vacuum out your pores and leave your skin sparkly clean and glowing and smooth. I’m not ashamed to admit that I plan on strolling into various Sephoras and asking for samples until I’ve saved up enough Birchbox points to make a dent in the full size.

{5} Mally Beauty Evercolor Poreless Face Defender. Despite my pores being squeaky clean thanks to the product above, they still are visible. And my skin gets pretttaaaay shiny as the day goes on, primer and setting powder be damned. I imagine using this stuff as a touch-up throughout the day to soak up the oily spots and make my face matte, but not too matte. And poreless, obviously.

{6} Benefit Big Easy. It’s hard not to love any product that Benefit comes out with. I’ve used their stuff since I was in high school, where I would save up my paychecks from my crummy minimum wage job and then beg someone to drive to St. Louis with me, where the Galleria housed the only Sephora I knew of. Thankfully times have changed, but I still love Benefit more than ever. This product is not actually on the shelves just yet–but Birchbox is preselling it before it’s release date of March 3rd. Big Easy is essentially a BB cream, but leans more towards the airbrushed, matte-finished foundation look. Hello?… perfect for me!

{7} Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. Because sometimes I want hair like Serena Van Der Woodsen, and I want it right away.


maybe not like that….


more like this.


or even this. Swoon.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody! It’s going to be warm {relatively speaking–a balmy 33 degrees}, so I’ll be cutting loose and helping a friend celebrate his birthday, belatedly. Thanks for reading! xx

February Wish List

I may have started this blog in late January, but I’ve had plenty of time to dream up my February wishlist! I’ve actually put myself on a bit of a shopping ban…trying to save up some money so I can afford to buy the items on my wishlist, eventually! It’s torture. I want everything.


{1} I’ve been dying for a pair of silver pumps, and this pair from Nine West is gorgeous and affordable. {2} I love these gold nails! I cannot figure out what polish this might be–the pin just links me to this Tumblr–but I’m going to keep digging around. {3} These teacups are so beautiful. I plan to check out some secondhand and vintage shops and boutiques to see if I can find some! {4} One of my resolutions this year was to drink more water. I’m getting tired of my dingy old CamelBak, and this glass option is so sleek and chic. {5} OBSESSED with this tulle skirt. I wanted one so badly for the Christmas season and couldn’t find one in my price range. This one is still a little too pricy for me, but I can dream. {6} How cute is this greeting card? Another resolution of mine was to write more snail mail, and so I suddenly have found myself spending a little too much time (and money) browsing gorgeous cards to send to my friends. {7} Loving dainty jewelry right now. This teeny necklace from Baublebar will be mine this spring! {8} Another pair of neutral heels on my Zappos list. The cream and black look too perfect together. {9} One more delicate necklace! I saw this one on Pinterest, and the caption said it was Tiffany…hence the reason I found the more inexpensive version at Baublebar! But I love the way it’s styled with the cozy sweater.

That’s it for February! Next month’s list will be all about spring, spring, spring! I’ve already started planning my warm weather beauty routine.