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February 2015 - Kiki Reflects

Kiki Reflects

one woman's struggle to answer her calling

Archive for February, 2015

Part Two of the “Best Of” Vegan Cosmetic Series: Best Eye Makeup Remover, Overnight Moisturizer, and Eyeshadow Primer

In Part One of this series, I outlined my journey to find vegan toiletries that are free of harsh chemicals.  Here is what I’ve found so far.

Best Eye Makeup Remover

First to run out was my eye makeup remover.  After reading several articles and trying various DIY eye makeup removers, I found that the best for me was plain ol’ extra virgin olive oil.  You can read more about using olive oil here.

In the past, I always had a tough time finding eye makeup remover.  It had to be unscented and non-comedogenic (meaning it wouldn’t clog pores).  It turns out that I could have simply walked into my kitchen instead!

Olive oil mimics your skin’s natural oils, so it is absorbed and won’t clog your pores.


Best Nighttime Moisturizer

In fact, I started using extra virgin olive oil as my night cream, applying it to my whole face before going to bed.  In the morning, I then would wake up with soft, smooth skin and no break-outs.  Olive oil breaks down makeup too.  Some folks even use is as primer.

Best Eyeshadow Primer

After watching several of Sam Schuerman makeup videos (I love her and think we might have been good friends in a former life!), and seeing her use “eye shadow insurance,” I realized I needed a good eye makeup primer.

As usual, making things difficult for myself, I didn’t want just any eyeshadow primer.  Mine would have to be vegan, with none of the harsh chemicals mentioned here.

And I found one!!  It’s the Vegan Oily Lid Eyeshadow Primer in Buff from the All Natural Face.  I love this stuff.  It’s inexpensive (only $3.50!), works well, lasts all day, and does not have the harsh chemicals mentioned earlier.  All products from the All Natural Face are made to order, which means they’re fresh.  It also meant that I had to wait several weeks to receive it in the mail.  It was well worth the wait though!!

As you know, this series will be published sort of slowly, because I’m taking a more economical approach. I’m using up what I already have, before going out and buying new products.

Do you have any recommendations or great products you’ve tried?  Please leave your comments below!




Part One of the “Best Of” Vegan Cosmetic Series: Introduction

Part One of the “Best Of” Vegan Cosmetic Series: Introduction

I’ve always loved makeup.  I remember my 13th birthday when my mom took me for my first makeover.  We ended up buying most of the products they used on my face.  I was thrilled, and the products stayed with me for a long time.

Now, here I am, in my 30’s, and I still love cosmetics.  I generally use makeup to hide my rosacea and dark under-eye circles (I’ve worked long hours in the military=not enough sleep).  In the photo below, I am sporting a more natural makeup look.  One that is office-appropriate.


As I get older, I care more about what is actually in my cosmetics and how they’re made.

Since I try to eat mostly vegan and gluten-free, I want the same in my cosmetics.  I was already gravitating towards vegan toiletries for a while; my favorite companies were Arbonne and Simple.  However, after I read this article, it made me think.  What was lurking in the products I was using?  After a few ingredient searches on the products I was using, I did not like what I found.

As a result, I started seeking out new products, ones that pass both tests: 1) to be vegan; and 2) to be free of harsh chemicals.  Equally important is that they need to work!

And, as if that wasn’t difficult enough, I have another restriction.  I’m trying to do this on a budget.  As in, without spending a small fortune replacing all of my products at one time.  So, I’m replacing my products as they run out.

Do you have any suggestions for the “Best Of” Vegan Cosmetic Series?  Products that meet the strict standards above?  If so, please comment at the bottom and I will check them out!

Up Next: Part Two of the “Best Of” Vegan Cosmetic Series: Best Eye Makeup Remover, Overnight Moisturizer, and Eyeshadow Primer


10 Tips to Get Your New Year’s Resolution Back on Track

How’s that New Year’s Resolution going?  92% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions never keep them. If this is you, here are 10 ways to find your motivation.

1. Limit the Amount of Resolutions You Have to a Single Overarching Goal

If you have 25 different New Year’s Resolutions, it can be difficult to focus on just one.  Instead, choose just one.  This will increase your focus, and therefore you determination.

Once all of your efforts are streamlined into one main goal (which can be broken down into smaller, shorter-term goals; more on that later), it will be easier to achieve.

2. Talk to the Resistance

Ask it, “Why.”  Find out why you haven’t started or haven’t continued. For example, if you made a resolution to go to the gym, but you haven’t yet made it there yet, try to figure out the reason.  Is it because the gym is too far away?  Or maybe because you’re evenings are full of preparing meals and getting the kids ready for school the next day?

Once you find the reason why, you can make small shifts in your routine to remove these obstacles and accomodate your goals.

3. Break the Resolution Up into Smaller, Manageable Goals

Losing weight is the Number 1 New Year’s Resolution.  Yet, many folks are still struggling with this.  Try breaking down your resolution into smaller, more manageable goals.  This gives you “little wins” along the way, allowing you to recover and maintain your momentum.  Those goals need to be concrete and measurable, which brings us to our next recommendation.

4. Make Your Smaller Goals Concrete

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, your smaller goals could be 1.) Walk for 20 minutes after dinner three times per week.  2.) Cook healthy meals at least three times per week.

Giving yourself something to measure makes it easier to be successful, and therefore stay motivated.

5. Give Yourself a Deadline

Give yourself a date and mark it on the calendar.  If you tend to procrastinate, make it a “start by” date instead of a completion date.  For example, “I’ll start writing my first book within the next month.”  Often, just beginning a project brings enough momentum to keep you going.

If you find that deadlines work well for you, create the next one after you’ve met your initial due date.

6. Go Public With Your Goal

Use Facebook and other social media to your advantage.  Post about your desire to change, or start something.  Not only will you receive feedback on how to reach your goal, but your friends will hold you accountable.  This goes well with the next tip.

7. Enlist a Friend’s Help

You’re more likely to go to the gym if your friend is meeting you there.  If you’re trying to eat healthy, team up with a coworker where you take turns bringing healthy lunches into the office.  This way, you both win.

8. Reduce the Negative Self-Talk

I see negative self-talk a lot when I teach yoga.  In the a middle of a yoga class, a student will say something like, “I can’t get into that pose, I’m just not flexible…”  You’re defeating yourself before you even begin! This can kill your motivation.  Instead of being critical of yourself, talk to yourself with kindness.  Pretend you are your own best friend.

9. Reduce the All or Nothing Attitude

Okay, so you didn’t make it to the gym yesterday (or for the past month). That doesn’t mean you can’t exercise today.  Okay, so you had a slice of seven-layer chocolate cake when you were out with your coworkers.  That doesn’t mean your entire diet is ruined. Or even the whole day. For dinner, eat something healthy.

I remember when I was trying to lose weight, I would say to myself, “aw man, I ate that cupcake for breakfast, now my whole day is ruined. Might as well pig out the rest of the day, because I’m going to start eating right first thing tomorrow.” You know what? Tomorrow never came.

The problem with this thinking is it’s all or nothingness. There is NEVER going to be a time when you’re going to give up ALL sweets (or some other food you love). It’s much better for you to accept what you ate, and decide to eat healthy for your very next meal. Stop beating yourself up for it.

10. Don’t Think So Hard

Often, folks look at their goals as one, huge, unsurmountable task.  If you’ve broken up your goals into smaller, more manageable (as mentioned earlier), just take each task one at a time.  Eat that elephant one bite at a time.


One Last Note: Pretend it’s the end of the current year.  Looking back, what will you be proud you accomplished this year?  Most likely, you’ll never say to yourself, I wish I had spent more time watching TV.

Do you guys have any more tips? What gets you motivated? Leave your comments below!