Wednesday, July 29, 2009

About Coconut Oil & the Microfiber Washcloth

About two weeks ago, I posted a Top Ten of my favorite things. One of the items, the Microfiber Washcloth, seemed to generate some questions especially in regards to keratosis pilaris. Unfortunately, I did not remember to take "before and after" pics but I can say in my experience that it has done wonderfully for smoothing my arms.

I have been using the Microfiber washcloth for about five-six months now pretty regularly and it kind of helped smooth it out but it was not until I started using the coconut oil (and the Microfiber cloth) about a month ago that I started to notice the bumps slowly smooth down significantly and the redness go away. All I notice now is bump or two and some light brown spots where the old bumps were and I am hoping that those will heal and disappear in a matter of time as well!

So my method? All I do is make sure to exfoliate daily (without cleanser on it) on the backs of my arms with firm pressure in a circular massage motion. I try not to do it for too long (like more than a minute) as you can literally rub your skin raw! I also make sure to use a more natural soap like Dr. Bronner's afterward for cleansing as I heard that some more processed soaps have dimethicones and other ingredients that can irritate those trouble areas. When I get out of the shower, I apply the coconut oil and maybe reapply a couple more times during the day. Be careful though and don't use too much! It can get quite greasy!

So why does this work? From what I understand about keratosis pilaris is that it is a genetic trait in which your skin produces excess keratin, a natural protein in your skin, and causes hard plugs around hair follicles in the area. With exfoliation, I believe it can help prevent excess buildup and smooth the skin out better.

But why is it the coconut oil helps even more? I can only scratch the surface here as there is TONS of info out there about its health & beauty benefits so I'll only bring up a few key points. Coconut oil is excellent and healing and repairing. It is considered a medium chain fatty acid and because of this composition, it is able to penetrate into the skin much better than other oils or lotions and can literally get under your skin and help with healing and smoothing the skin. If you'd like to read a more thorough article o this check this link out:

Virgin Coconut Oil & Your Skin.

I can definitely vouch for it being an excellent moisturizer; I don't limit this to just my arms but apply it everywhere else: arms, legs, torso, back, and even my face. Proceed with caution, though, on your face as I have read some conflicting reports on using it on your face as some rate it as highly comedegenic, but I have not noticed this in my experience and have also seen lots of articles promoting coconut oil to get rid of acne. Most noticeable is my knees and elbows which were normally hard and scaly feeling--but since using, they are smoother and softer than when I was a kid!

You can get coconut oil (it is best to get the Organic Extra Virgin from everything I have read) at your local health food store, Whole Foods or Trader Joes, GNC, and of course online, just do a Google Shopping search. I got my first 16 ounce jar at drugstore.com (since I got free shiping for my order that was $49 or more) but if you think you'll want more, I strongly recommend Nutiva.com as they have excellent prices right now on the large one gallon tubs (about eight pounds) and it is free shipping with orders $30 or more. Just let them know I sent you in the comments section! I've actually stocked up on it as I am using it for cooking as well, giving it to my dog for his health, and of course my beauty routine from head to toe! I hope to be blogging a few more articles on my experience with coconut oil in the near future. From everything I have read, it sounds like the tree of life!

As a special sale to go along with this blog post, I am putting the Set of Three Microfiber Cloths on sale for $8.29 should you want to test this out yourself. Don't forget, this is free shipping for my US & Canadian customers and the sale will only last until current stock is sold out or by next Friday (August 7) whichever comes first.

And for those of you that missed it, I will extend Janice's Choice Brush set until then as well (or until we sell out of those brushes too) as it has been a popular set that I am sure more of you would like a chance to purchase!

**Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this subject but am simply sharing my good experience with this method--your mileage may vary!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blog Special: 7/20-7/24

Hey, all! I'm back with a Blog Special for this week!

But before I share the links I need to explain that I'm going to be adding a new Limited Edition listing that I'll have "as needed" when good ideas arise: a Customer Request Set! I had a customer ask about having a special brush set that she wanted to give to a family member as a gift and she was hoping for some basic face brushes, specifically the ones listed in this set. Just go to our Limited Edition page and scroll down to the bottom to find it or simply click HERE to see the listing.

These brushes are actually mentioned on my very last "Favorite Things" post as they are dupes of the MAC 187, 188, & 138. The price on these three brushes (plus the Blog Special) doesn't even cover the cost of one MAC brush!

The sale on the LE Customer Request set will be over either when we run out of our current stock of brushes or July 29, whichever comes first. However, I *think* I will have enough for everyone that will want one so hopefully, no worries there. :)

But along with that **IF** you purchase this set, as this week's Blog Special, you will also get your choice of a free full-sized blush or powder of your choice! So to take advantage of this deal, click HERE to get your free face product. It will only be available from today until Friday, July 24 until about 2:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.

EDIT: I don't know if I just did not make it clear here on the Blog Post as well as the actual product listing HERE in RED but the Blog Special is ONLY for those that purchase the current Customer Request Set. Also, you can get more than one Blog Special but ONLY for as many Customer Requests sets you buy. For example if you get four Customer Request Sets, you can get four Blog Specials.

The reason I have to clarify is that I just got an order that did not purchase any of the Customer Request Set but added about forty Blog Specials to her order (so forty full-sized products for 40 cents)--so I am afraid something was not made clear??? I WISH I could just give stuff away like that, LOL, but Bare Minerals or Sheer Cover I am not in terms of profits....

Maybe one day I'll be one of the "big girls" but until then, you all will just keep needing to spread the word about awG word of mouth--that's when I get my best advertising!!! By the way, many thanks to all my paying customers who YouTube and/or blog about my company. I appreciate your willingness to buy my products and kind words you say in your videos/posts!

Thanks everyone! Hope that clears it up!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My favorite things!

Before I take off for the weekend I thought I'd leave you all this post; I've been getting lots of emails from my customers asking me what brush or makeup product I like using best & would recommend (from my adorned with GraceTM store) so I thought it might be fun and perhaps informative to give you a Top Ten list of the things *I* love and can't live without. I did a Top Ten list of products my first month of blogging, but that was what is popular with my customers --these are my own personal loves!

1. Supreme Smoothing Powder: I use this as a primer underneath my foundation all over my face and then I go over it lightly around my more visible pores or areas I feel like need an extra smoothing. Gives a "Photoshopped" look to my face, lol! See a blog post here that I did about it:

Supreme Smoothing Powder: Does it work?

2. Metal Eyelash Comb: I get asked a LOT about this item---like does it really work better than the regular brow brushes? Well, let me tell you...I used to think clumps were just a regular part of wearing mascara; I used to use the plastic combs and those things never did ANY good! Because metal lash combs have such sharp teeth, these cut through the clumps easily. Just make sure to be careful as they can hurt you if you poke yourself in the eye (so no combing while driving/in a car, lol!) and keep the combs clean! I actually use dental floss to get in between and then wipe the rest away with a piece of a paper towel with a dab of rubbing alcohol.


See...the teeth are fine and sharp, unlike plastic brow brushes.

3. Shimmer Blushes: Although I like my pigmented blushes, I love the natural look and sheerness of my Shimmer Blushes! They give such a great youthful glow to my skin without accentuating fine lines or pores. My favorite Shimmer Blush colors? Hmmm...that is hard for me to say, but I guess if I *had* to choose, I'd say Fascinating (for a golden glow), Audacious (for a "perk me up" look), Dainty (for a feminine touch), & Tenderness (for a radiant, innocent sheen).

4. Small Pointed Face Brush: I didn't think much of this brush when I first saw it in my Supplier's Catalog and actually did not carry it immediately. However, I added it and after one of my faithful customers bought it and told me she realized that it was similar to the MAC 138, a $52 brush, I gave it a try and fell in love myself!

What is so great about it is it's shape. (In fact, if you look it up, it is the MAC 138 that is used with MAC's"Sculpt and Shape Powder!") You can apply color with the point for precision or use the sides where it angles for adding contours/highlight just where you need them! If you'd like to see it in action, one of my customers who is a popular YouTube guru, Julieg713 uses it in one of her looks *HERE*. You can fast forward it to the end (around 9:25) if you'd like to see a good visual on how to use it.

5. Microfiber washcloth: I have to be honest. I started carrying these not because of Customer request but because I just adore them and wanted to get a whole bunch of them for myself ha ha! I was using some I got from a DollarTree/General Dollar really cheap but I guess you get what you pay for as I found the cloth too thin and flimsy and it didn't seem to feel as comfortable to use as these do.

I use mine very gently on my face; I don't like to scrub too hard as you can rub your face raw if you overdo it. But my favorite is for using it on the backs of my arms as I have those unsightly bumps (Keratosis Pilaris I think is what they call it) because it does an excellent job of exfoliating. As a side note, I've recently been applying Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil as a lotion to my arms after I exfoliate with the washcloth, and I've noticed a big improvement! I'll continue to experiment with my EVCO and have a Health & Beauty post on how well it is working for me as I am using it for other beauty remedies. So look for that in the next few months!

6. Premium Eyecolors: Ahhh...my favorite eyeshadows ever! Besides the fact that these are all wearable colors, I love the texture of this formula--like creamy velvet! They blend well, wear long, & have just the right amount of sheen--not too matte they look chalky, but not too shimmery it looks like Tinkerbell exploded on your eyelids...

If I had to choose my faves, I would say: Phenomenal (a great eyeshadow base & highlight); Amazing & Dauntless (crease/lid colors); and Marvelous (for contouring/eyelining).

7. Ingenue Synthetic Flat Top Brush: I love all my brushes, especially from my Premium Line, but this is my "best all around" brush! It's not quite as dense as the Premium Flat Top or Buffer but is super soft and for an inexpensive brush, I have not noticed this one shed. I also LOVE the size of it for both everyday use and travel. It is very similar to Everyday Minerals Flat Top in size & shape that I know is very popular in MMU-land.
Such a cute yet super-soft brush!

8. Foundation: The whole reason adorned with GraceTM even exists! It's really awesome to me that I actually have foundation that is my perfect match! I also like my formula in that it isn't too heavy and chalky, giving medium to medium-heavy coverage (with applying in sheer layers and/or dabbing on problem areas first), yet has an almost skin finish (for me anyway) as I've tried other brands where I felt like I looked too chalky and ghostlike.

9. Ingenue Dual Fiber Set: Okay, I am cheating with this one as it is actually two products, but I'm running out of slots in my Top Ten and really wanted to get both of these brushes in.

First off, I love the Ingenue Sleek! It's almost identical in shape to my Ingenue Petite, but has a sleeker and prettier handle; I also think that the head is a little bit denser so if you wanted to use it for stippling foundation in those hard to stipple areas like around your nose and eyes, I think this one would do a better job. My favorite daily use for it though is for blush application, especial #3, my Shimmer Blushes--and it is about $26 cheaper than the MAC 188!

And then its "big sis" the Ingenue Large! If you can believe it, I actually had a tester sample of this from one of my suppliers that I bought about a year before I started carrying it and had just forgotten about it; I was too busy testing out some others from other suppliers and comparing it to the much loved MAC 187. Well, after I had given up and thought there wasn't one similar enough, I found my bag of tester brushes and realized this one was a winner! (I have a post *HERE* comparing the two.) As mentioned in that post, this one and the sleek will note some initial shedding--but nowhere near the "fallout" of the other brushes I have owned/tested that were supposed to be good dupes. In fact, there were some that were so bad I had to thrown them out as they were coming out in clumps! These have shedding but it is on the minimal side.

Now, in all honestly, it probably does not compare to the MAC 187 "just cuz" but with the MAC 187 costing $42, I am paranoid about bringing it with me on trips and losing it as I do travel out of town a lot; this applies similar enough with good quality, it is a good backup for that or when my MAC 187 is needing to be washed. I imagine for those of you that are on a very limited budget, this one would satisfy your need for a 187 until you can save up for the real thing.

10. Luscious Lipbalm: LOL, I love this one so much I keep 1-2 in almost every room I frequent during the day at work (my "day job" as an OT), at home, and in my car! I actually collected lip balms prior to starting adorned with Grace and had enough of the store-bought variety to last me the next ten years--but after I started carrying this one, I just can't bring myself to use the other ones (well, except maybe my Tiramisu or Reese's Cup flavored one, but that was more for taste!) as they just don't seem to work on my lips which are very prone to chapping since I am bad about licking my lips. I gave some of these to my coworkers last year and they all agreed that these just seemed to "sink in" and actually moisturize whereas the store-bought variety just sits on the top of your lips.

So that completes my list! I really should have made this a Top Twenty, but this post is already long enough so maybe I'll do a continuation next week! Hope that was helpful to some of you!

P.S. Heads up, I have about 1/3 left of my CLEARANCE stock so I imagine if they are selling as fast as they have this week, they might be gone by the middle or end of next week? Also, I don't think I will be having a Blog Special next week--I thought about offering a discounted kit of the Top Ten Products above, but wasn't sure if that was a good idea. If you think you might want to buy one, email me at adorned_with_grace@yahoo.com and let me know! If I get a pretty good response, I might just do that...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Clearance Sale!!!

I know some of you love the "Oops" Grab Bag Sample sets so I have got a bunch of those for you this round! I have one set that is devoted completely to colors that are best for cheek/lip colors; one of mostly neutrals; one that has a little bit more color (greens, grays, plum/purples); and then just a couple of a "Mixed Bag" set that has a little bit of each.

Most of these grab baggies have at least 20 samples and most of the samples have about 1/2 teaspoon in them and a select few have 1/4. Some of them will also include some discontinued LE sample sized colors (my usual 1/8 teaspoon) and there might be a couple colors from the last Grab Bag set that may be in there as extras.

I also have some "Oops" Foundation; I accidentally made an error in my measurement when making Grace 4.0 and it didn't *quite* match the previous batch but I think it might be forgiving enough that if you wear Grace, Faith, or Kindness 4.0, you might match this. One idea you can do is to purchase this with my Foundation Mixing Set so if you need it lighter, you have the tools to do it with!

New to my Clearance sale is Duo & Trio sets of discontinued LE colors from Fall 2008-Spring 2009. I had fun trying to pair colors from different collections together and some were inspired by duos/trios I have seen in makeup catalogs/online stores. They have a varying range of prices because it does mix my Regular and Premium formulas.

One thing I will ask politely is don't email me and ask if you can switch out colors as I won't be able to do that for you. :( I'm very concerned about Inventory control and don't want to have to email someone back to say I don't have the items available. They are priced just a few cents or a couple of dollars over the cost of one of my eyecolors so they can go fast, AND I have also pre-wrapped these (my bubble wrap & signature tissue paper) so I can ship these out ASAP.

In addition, I also have put up a new listing on the Accessories page: Empty five gram jars. You can get five at a time or ten at a time. The prices will run the "Sale" price until I run out of the Grab Bag Samples--I know some of you prefer to apply out of a jar so this new listing is for you!

You can click here at Clearance or you can go to my Limited Edition page and find the Clearance link there as well.

Oh, in case you are wondering, this Clearance sale has taken the place of our Blog Special this week! But I'm sure it will still be just as fun to shop! :)