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In a world where things around us change by the minute, moving out of our normal for what feels safe, can make it feel hard to move forward with changes we want to make in our lives, even if they are healthy ones. Today I was reminiscing with a friend about childhood junk food, and which foods were my favorite. I craved Goldfish, Cheetos, and Spaghettios. Those foods were my normal and my comfort. Back then I also had an addiction to “junk” cosmetics. I loved Bath and Body works body sprays, and Herbal Essences Shampoos. I was addicted to fragrance. So the question is how did I change and move away from things that felt so normal, to eating healthy and owning a clean beauty store? 

The first step for me was being open to change, and becoming interested in ingredients. I was first awakened to the food industry in my 20’s by a book called "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser.

 I read about the ingredients in our junk food, and started paying attention to how the ingredients in my food made me feel. I slowly began making changes to see if I could change that daily lethargic feeling by cutting out a lot of sugary food and drinks. Happily, I found my energy sustained through the day. So I stuck with it as much as possible, and gave myself grace when I had too much brownie mix like this one.

 Dark chocolate also helped!

 

The next change for me came before I had a baby. I learned about the chemicals in cleaning products. So I began switching them out for better ones, that didn’t use fragrance and bleach. I also wanted to avoid having toxic substances around my little one. I was happy to find the cleaning power of baking soda and vinegar! Saving money on cleaning products was a plus of this change. 

 

Last was the switch to natural cosmetics. I worked as a makeup artist, professionally with synthetic cosmetics. The brand  of choice was Benefit, since they had a great natural aesthetic to their products. However when customers and clients started asking if it was natural, I scratched the surface of what was in the products. I was surprised and disappointed to find there was nothing natural about them. Even in 2004 natural cosmetics were not something widely available or able perform all that well. I had a Burt's Bee's powder that I loved for a quick trip to the store, but professionally, it lacked in coverage. 

 Part of the puzzle was finding makeup that worked. By the end 2014 I was able to add dozens of professional clean beauty brands to my list, like 100% Pure, W3LL People, RMS Beauty, and Alima Pure.  I was thrilled to start sharing them with others, and help them stop using products without the word "fragrance", since that is the number one toxic synthetic in our book. The sharing led to a passion for people to find, and with the help of my husband we started our store to make them easily accessible. 

The cosmetics was the hardest switch for me, because I couldn't fully believe that letting go of products that seemed normal and "safe" would really benefit my health. Like eating healthy, you see or feel the difference pretty quickly.  I've seen a trend in health conscious consumers, that it is usually the last switch for many, but making that switch is one more step in a well rounded healthy lifestyle. 

There are always positive changes we can make in our lives. For our bodies, our minds, or our lifestyle. Taking some small steps, like researching, and some huge leaps - like throwing out most of my makeup drawer - I found helped me move forward. Letting go of normal and "safe" allowed me to live into the what if's as positive questions, and let them be positive throughout the process of discovery.