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Gift Ideas for Galentine's Day

Gift Ideas for Galentine's Day

For those who are confused about the new holiday celebrating friendship - help is on the way. We curated a gift guide for the upcoming Galentine's Day. Something tells us that you will love it <3
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5 Hacks to Start a Sustainable Household

5 Hacks to Start a Sustainable Household

It’s been a hot minute since I last posted here, mostly because of the latest launch which seems to be one big delivery of new skincare products to my store every single day. While I am handling all the packages, sorting inventory, and flattening all the boxes, I realized how much I missed writing here on the blog. If you add writing about sustainability to that, there is no way to stop me from sitting in front of the computer and getting in the zone. Funny enough, my husband recently noticed that whenever I write a blog post, I hit the keyboard so loud as if I was in mania. I like to call it “getting into the zone”.
Let’s get to the point – the topic of today’s post – SUSTAINABLE HOUSEHOLD.
What exactly is a sustainable household? If you want to explain this concept to someone who has never heard about sustainability before, you may come up with words such as “eco-friendly”, “plant-based”, “less waste” or “zero waste”. We all heard them somewhere and we know what they are about, but it seems like they are an introduction to digging deeper into the actual meaning of the term. Lucky for you, I did some digging (to save you time and energy) and according to Uncle Google, a sustainable household is an efficient home, which respects natural resources, it is energy efficient, and is cheap to run. It also should be made from materials that aren’t harmful to you or the environment.
With that in mind, I can say without hesitation, that my household is a sustainable one. This is without hesitation. Now, as far honesty is concerned, I believe it’s a sustainable household in approx. 70%. We rent an apartment, so we are not sure what materials exactly have been used to build the house we live in, but whatever is inside our apartment can be defined as zero- or low waste. How do we do it? What did we introduce in our house to make it more energy efficient? Welcome to your guide for 5 hacks to a sustainable household.
Hack no. 1 – The Big Berkey
I don’t know how many times I stood in front of our Berkey complimenting him for how amazing he is. Berkey is a system that purifies water with a filter system that needs to be replaced every 6,000 gallons of water drank.
Berkey Water Filter System
For a family of 4, who drinks from 2-4 gallons of water per day, it means that they would need to replace the Berkey filter every 4 years. Not only you will save water, but with Berkey, you will significantly lower the plastic waste. And I just realized I actually used he/him pronouns for describing Berkey in this paragraph – I guess he is a part of a family now?
Hack no. 2 – Rent furniture
It is no surprise that we live in the world of fast-everything: fast food, fast fashion, fast beauty, and yes, even fast furniture. The famous Swedish furniture brand, whose name starts with “I”, creates fun designs, but let’s be honest: this is not furniture made to last. I live in NYC and trust me when I tell you that the amount of MALM bedside tables put out on the sidewalk for the garbage pick-up day is tremendous. This, in turn, creates more waste.
In order to avoid this and follow the low waste path, you can rent your furniture. If you like a mid-century style and you don’t mind using pre-loved pieces, you can always Google places like Conjure that provide short-term rental for amazing sofas, desks, tables, etc. How does it work? You pick a piece that you like and depending on the rental length, you make a monthly payment between $15-$54 depending on what you have chosen. All rentals are sanitized, they may have slight signs of wear and tear, but I guess it’s not such a big deal. By the end of your lease, you can either return it, prolong the lease, or buy it out by paying the furniture off. I am definitely going to rent a desk and a chair from them soon because I am running out of office space!
Hack no. 3 – Ditch the Paper Towel
Washcloths
Who else remembers the paper towel wars in Costco at the beginning of the pandemic? I do. I also remember our daughter was 4 months old at the time and despite the global virus, sometimes we had to go to the store with her. I know. But I learned my lesson and besides the fact that I didn’t want us to go through the same shit show with running for Bounty while wearing an infant in a carrier, I realized the paper towel is something you can absolutely go without. For about 2 years now, I have been using old rags that are washed and sanitized on regular basis, and let me tell you…what a relief for my wallet! Plus, we don’t throw out so much garbage.
Hack no. 4 – Turn the Light Off!
Beige lamp
I don’t know if it’s something that my grandparents taught me or if I am already influenced by the zero-waste movement, but I hate leaving lights on in the room that I am not in. When you leave the room, turn the lights off. It saves energy and lowers your energy bill.
 
 
Hack no. 5 – Empties.
Empty plastic bottlesIf you already got excited about turning your house into a sustainable zone, here is a reminder: don’t throw out things if they are not finished. Regardless of the fact if you use eco-friendly or non-eco-friendly shampoo, dish soap, or laundry detergent, it is more sustainable to use it all till the end before you introduce the zero-waste idea to your house. Do you have that plastic razor that you want to ditch? Hold on! Make sure it’s not possible to use it anymore and then order a new reusable old-school style with blades. If you just finished your huge Tide container, but you really want to use plant-based detergent, try searching for the refills option of the product you like and buy that. Once it arrives, fill up the plastic container, and voila! You have just reused your plastic container!
                                                                              *
These are just 5 hacks you can introduce to your house if you are willing to make a change. Remember that we are all still at the beginning of the sustainability journey and sometimes things you find on IG may cause anxiety. That’s why I encourage you to try thinking about your household as a low waste instead of zero waste. Start small and you will see how big of an impact you can have! Once you get used to all the swatches and new habits, you can go hardcore and try all the zero-waste hacks, but for now: baby steps.
As far as baby steps are concerned, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter and follow me on Instagram. It would really mean a lot – each time someone new joins my newsletter or becomes a follower, I have more energy to do even more.

Till next time,

 

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Random Facts About Me

Random Facts About Me

Let's get to know each other better! Here are 21 random facts about me.
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How To Not Give a Flying F**k in 2022

How To Not Give a Flying F**k in 2022

What's done is done, right? You can't change the past. Easier said than done. Want to know how to stop giving a fuck in 2022? How to feel free, stop worrying and overanalyzing? Click here to find out!
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How I teach my daughter bravery, not perfection.

How I teach my daughter bravery, not perfection.

What I am trying to teach my daughter? Bravery vs Perfection. Read more to find out what my parenting approach is.
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January 2022 Skincare Holy Grails

January 2022 Skincare Holy Grails

Welcome to the new cycle aka Months Favorites aka Months Skincare Holy Grails. This month we are analyzing the best Skin1004 serum in the world, a very nice lip balm by Dr Ceuracle and.... click to find out more!
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Looking Beyond the Label: Organic vs. Vegan vs. Sustainable

Looking Beyond the Label: Organic vs. Vegan vs. Sustainable

Have you noticed that nowadays almost every skincare product on the store’s shelf is labeled clean, cruelty-free, organic, vegan, or sustainable? Oftentimes they have an icon of a green leaf, which makes you think right away that these products are safe for the environment. Am I right? Well, surprise, surprise: not all of those labels mean that a particular product is good for the planet.

As we are entering 2022, one of the main concerns our society is dealing with is obviously climate change. People are tackling this issue with various ideas: zero-waste movement, switching to veganism, or, what we are actually doing at Clean Beauty Spot, using skincare products that are safe for the environment. If you need help deciphering the meaning behind the labels put on skincare products, this article is just for you.

DON’T PANIC, IT’S ORGANIC

Before we begin with explaining what organic skincare product is, you need to understand how the ingredient lists are created. Manufacturers list ingredients from highest to lowest percentage. They can also list ingredients at random, or place ingredients under 1% in any order they choose. However, there is no legal definition or requirement regarding labeling a product as being organic.

Confusing, right? So what makes organic products different from the others on the store’s shelf? Organic cosmetics carry certification from USDA, which basically means that the product was made from ingredients produced, handled, and packaged to a certain standard.

VEGAN

Since veganism means avoiding animal by-products, the same holds for vegan skincare products. Vegan means a product has no ingredients such as beeswax, carmine, etc. The lack of animal byproducts does not always mean that the product is cruelty-free too. A product can be cruelty-free and not vegan, and vice versa. A lot of cruelty-free products still contain animal byproducts.

In order to make sure you are using both vegan and cruelty-free products is to look for the Leaping Bunny logo which is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing no animal testing was carried out in developing the product.

SUSTAINABLE

What makes a brand sustainable? While the term itself is still very broad and unfortunately is very often used more as the means of marketing, I follow a couple of criteria that help me decide whether a particular brand or product is sustainable or not:

  1. The company practices ethical sourcing of ingredients (e.g. from sustainable plantations) and uses renewable materials.
  2. The packaging is eco-friendly.
  3. The brand has a recycling program.
  4. The brand has proper accreditations.
  5. The products are not tested on animals (aka they are cruelty-free).

Hopefully, I managed to help you decipher the true meaning behind the labels you see on skincare products. Each label on your product leads to a different story that every skincare brands want to show you. The only question that I will leave with is weather the brands tell us the whole truth about their practices?

Till next time!

xoxo,

Agnes

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Let's finish this year on a positive note and dive into good things that happened in 2021.
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Regardless of which zodiac sign you are, the 2022 skincare trends predictions are something all of us skincare junkies crave for. Find out what we saw when rubbing the crystal ball :)
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Your ultimate guide to sustainable holidays.

Here is your ultimate guide for making every Christmas sustainable. Find out how to wrap gifts, what to give, and how to decorate your house without leaving a negative impact on the environment.
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Woman smoking my skincare sins mistakes I am not ashamed of

My skincare sins I am not ashamed of.

Since I became a mom, I have met with a lot of understanding from my family. For holidays, I am no longer obligated to bring a home-cooked dish, because I am busy with my kiddo. For family gatherings in our house, I no longer get pity looks on how messy my apartment is: “you’re a full-time working Mom, you probably don’t have time to clean after work”. When it comes to being on time, no one gives me lectures on being late because you know…getting ready with a toddler is not easy, etc., etc. In the beginning, the thought of not having to cook/clean/be on time scared me. In the past, I’ve felt pressured to have all my life in order: health & beauty detoxed, diet on check-point, routines and active lifestyle on check, career deadlines on check. I was a multitasking type A personality, going to the gym, reading books, watching niche and independent movies, believing that this is what is EXPECTED from me… Suddenly, it all changed. It took me some time to realize, that no one expected anything from me, and this is when a full reset started. I finally stopped giving a sheet. Not fully, but I stopped living for perfection. Call me crazy, call me lazy, but thanks to this I learned how to let it go.

The reset influenced all major areas of my life: I no longer took part in an imaginary cooking show, where every dinner had to be a healthy masterpiece prepared under 30 minutes. I no longer felt obligated to organize and label things in my apartment (hello OCD!), and finally I no longer felt I need to look like a model. Of course, I like to take care of myself, but I no longer go on guilt trips when I commit “skincare sins”. What are my sins? Nothing major, I would probably get by in front of the skincare judges panel but remember that we are talking here about me - miss independent who had time for everything. Now, it’s not the case.

Sin #1: I DON'T SHAPE MY EYEBROWS.

Here, I said it. There is a funny story about my eyebrows from the time when I was 13 years old and I started discovering the secrets of the beauty world. I was completely fascinated with photos with models and their perfect eyebrows and for some weird reason, I figured that they must shave them to get that beautiful arch. So, I shaved half of my eyebrows. Yup. I looked like a weirdo and since then, the hair in the eyebrows area has been weak. They never grew stronger or darker. I tried tons of treatments; I went to estheticians who would help me grow them back, but nope. This is the way they are.

Sin #2: I DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT MY UNDEREYES DARK CIRCLES. 

Don’t get me wrong: I use eye patches, but not with the intention of getting rid of my dark circles. I simply gave up on any sort of eye creams promising me to remove those panda eyes. Those circles are a result of many sleepless nights that I spent either studying, hanging out with my friends, or overanalyzing something until 3 am. Then you can add the motherhood which smashed me and left me severely sleep-deprived; Plus, the genes and we have a nice formula for something that is now a part of me, almost like my post-pregnancy stretch marks.

Sin #3: I DON'T ALWAYS DRINK 8 GLASSES OF WATER PER DAY. 

Do you know what it feels like to wake up on Saturday at 6:40 am and chase your toddler from 6:41 am till 8:30 pm? I do. Sometimes, I barely have time to sit down so on some days drinking water becomes a challenge. I am completely aware of the importance of drinking water, but life happens.

Sin #4: I DON'T ALWAYS EXFOLIATE MY SKIN OR SHAVE MY LEGS.

Again: HERE, I SAID IT. I feel like this is something that a lot of women will understand. Especially in winter.

Sin #5: I HATE GETTING PEDICURES (and I don’t do one).

I know, I know: it looks corny when you only have a manicure done, but your toenails look like hobbits. I simply hate when someone does something to my feet. Plus, when you add filing, scrubbing, even the massage… it all gives me a weird feeling.

And that’s it. That’s the end of my confession and I hope I made you feel a little bit more relaxed about your own routine or no routine. Why I decided to share some of the very intimate details from my life? As a part of my therapy, I want to show you that it is possible to live with imperfections and accept them. My skin is always going to have its ups and downs. And I am accepting it. I am finally at peace with myself and my skin.

xoxo,

Agnes

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