Easy Colourful Eyeshadow

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I try to keep my makeup collection minimal but versatile. My makeup look is generally simple but I also like to be able to do more creative looks occasionally without buying new products.

Colorful eyeshadow

 

The colours in my versatile eyeshadow palette are:

  • brown (also used for brows and contour)
  • black or grey (which can also be used wet as an eyeliner)
  • white (also used as a highlight)
  • red or pink (which I mainly used as blush)
  • and then a “fun” colour – I currently have this copper shimmer shade

This eyeshadow look only used 3 shadows (plus the brown for brows). I started with black in the outer corner and into the crease in a triangle shape, it’s a blueish-black so looks purpley when layered with the red. The red shadow is then put into the center of the triangle, on the outer-half of the eyelid, and blended with the black. Next I put the copper shadow on the inner-half of the eyelid and a little into the crease. On the lower lid I used the red again on the outer corner and copper in the middle.

Easy colourful eyeshadow

What do you think of this makeup look?

 

My eyeshadows are from Red Apple Lipstick* (black – black magic and I also have brownie points for shadow/brows, and buttercream for shadow/highlight), PuroBio* (red – Marsala), and Couleur Caramel (copper – I believe this shade is no longer available though).

 

 

*indicates an affiliate link, for more information please see the disclosure policy for more info.

Winter Capsule Wardrobe

please note: this post contains some affiliate links

 

The pieces I chose for my winter capsule wardrobe:

  1. Velvet bodysuit from Underprotection (read a brand review)
  2. Navy tee from Lanius
  3. Blue spot tee from Dedicated*
  4. Black tee from Funktion Schnitt 
  5. Black sweatshirt from Dedicated*
  6. Grey jumper from People Tree
  7. Grey top from Comazo | earth
  8. Long shirt from ArmedAngels
  9. Plaid draped shirt – secondhand
  10. Beige cardigan – old
  11. Green cardigan – DIY/handmade
  12. Gold/green jacket – secondhand
  13. Grey/brown sweater from Izzy Lane
  14. Blue fisherman sweater – secondhand/vintage
  15. Sweater from People Tree
  16. Red jumper – old
  17. Black pants from People Tree
  18. Wool trousers – secondhand
  19. Light jeans from MUD Jeans*
  20. Linen skirt from NotPerfectLinen* (read more about my love of linen)
  21. Black dress from People Tree
  22. Check tunic from People Tree
  23. Tee dress from Kowtow
  24. Ikat jumpsuit from Matter Prints* (more about ikat and the jumpsuit)
  25. Brown jacket – DIY/handmade
  26. Denim jacket – secondhand
  27. Woven cape – secondhand/vintage
  28. Knit vest – DIY/handmade
  29. Purple/teal scarf – DIY/handmade
  30. Knit brown/red scarf – DIY/handmade
  31. Cream knit hat – DIY/handmade
  32. Black floppy hat – secondhand
  33. Backpack from Matt & Nat (please read why I no longer support Matt & Nat)
  34. Black purse from Matt & Nat (please read why I no longer support Matt & Nat)

 

My capsule wardrobe is adapted from the Project 333 challenge. Over the course of creating my many capsule wardrobes I’ve been fine-tuning them to figure out what works best for me. In the spring I decided to no longer include shoes as part of my capsule wardrobe, because I feel I have a good core “shoe capsule” and the one thing I often seemed to miss was some pair of shoes that I hadn’t included.

I also find that I need more pieces in the fall and winter and fewer in the spring and summer, so I don’t try to hit a specific number, I just build a wardrobe I think would work well, and it usually ends up being 30-35 pieces.

Photo by Dennis Wilhelms www.denniswilhelms.com

 

* this item was sent as a gift from the brand

Green Favourites 2017

Every month I make a video highlighting 5 things– a green product, a slow fashion brand,  a book or doc, something new I’ve learned, and a blogger or youtuber I follow. Here are the things featured in 2017.

 

Green Products

Soap/wash nuts for laundry
DIY cotton makeup pads
Coconut oil
Stainless steel straws
Menstrual cup
DoneGood (free app/extension)
BunchaFarmers natural stain remover
Bamboo toothbrush
Toothpaste tablets
Vinegar for cleaning
Guppyfriend Bag

 

Slow Fashion

Sleeping Gypsy
Love Justly *
Offset Warehouse (fabric & sewing supplies)
Zero Waste Daniel
Deadwood
Neo Thread Co.
Christy Dawn
Jungle Folk
Folk Fibers (naturally dyed quilts)
Myssyfarmi
Hoodlamb

 

Books

Slow Fashion by Safia Minney
Women in Clothes
Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver

 

Docs/Movies

Plastic China
Chasing Ice
Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt
Okja (fiction, on Netflix)
A wage you can live on – Textile Workers in Cambodia

 

Podcasts

Sustainababble 
Wardrobe Crisis

 

Blogs

The Note Passer
Moral Fibres
Life + Style + Justice
Ethical Unicorn
Dominique Drakeford & MelaninASS

 

Youtube Channels

The Girl Gone Green
Sweet Potato Soul
Kristen Leo
Exploring Alternatives
Use Less

 

*indicates an affiliate link, by purchasing through this link you are helping support My Green Closet! For more information on my use of affiliate links please see the disclosure policy.

30 Sustainable Resolutions for 2018

Go green in 2018! Living sustainably is all about making small changes and continuing to learn and improve. Incorporate some sustainable goals into your new year’s resolutions for a more conscious 2018.

 

Eco friendly resolution ideas:

1. Air dry your clothes to help them last longer and save energy and money

2. Watch/read an environmental documentary or book every month (check out resources for some recommendations)

3. Avoid palm oil (more about palm oil and deforestation)

4. Never throw away clothes (what to do with your old clothes)

5. Start a capsule wardrobe (how I plan my capsule wardrobe)

6. Switch to reusable menstrual products (more about switching to a menstrual cup)

7. Try to first repair items before throwing them away

8. Drive less- instead walk, bike, take public transit, car pool, etc.

9. Wash your clothes in cold water (more clothing care tips)

10. Use natural and non-toxic cleaning products in your home (my simple, DIY cleaning products)

Simple, green cleaning products - vinegar, baking soda, and Dr. Bronner's liquid soap

11. Host a clothing swap so your friends, family, or community can shop each other’s closets

12. Try a shopping fast/challenge

13. Switch to a green energy supplier for your home

14. Buy only cruelty-free beauty products

15. Contact your favourite brands and ask questions

16. Buy products in bulk

17. Reduce meat and animal products from your diet, even just eating a more Mediterranean diet makes a big difference

18. Find green beauty alternatives (more about the products I use)

19. Incorporate seasonal foods into your meals

20. Buy organic

21. Always bring a reusable mug/bottle

22. Contact your government reps about important issues

23. Plan your shopping and reduce food waste

blueberries

24. Set up a monthly donation to your favourite organization

25. Buy from local businesses first

26. Carbon offset all your travel (how to carbon offset)

27. Volunteer for an organization/important cause

28. Avoid synthetics or get a Guppyfriend bag to help reduce microfibre pollution

guppyfriend laundry bag - reduce microfibre pollution

29. Take part in a sustainable community – like the My Green Closet Facebook group 😉

30. Share your favourite conscious fashion finds on social media

 

 

What are your sustainable resolutions for the new year?

 

Best & Worst Green Beauty Products of the Year

This year I used some great makeup and beauty products and unfortunately also some really disappointing ones. I made this video to recap of my favourite and least favourite products.

 

Brands and products mentioned:

(please note this list contains some affiliate links)
  Lily Lolo mascara

  Dr. Hauschka defining mascara

  100% Pure long lasting concealer

  Dr. Hauschka concealer

  RMS “un” coverup

  Lily Lolo mineral foundation

  Martina Gebhardt Sage Cleanser 

  100% Pure purity cleanser + mask

  100% Pure eye shadow brushes

  Magic Organic Apothecary Aphrodite oil (read more about choosing a facial oil)

  Lamazuna toothpaste

  Schmidt’s deodorant

  shampoo bars

  The Innate Life shampoo and conditioner 

best and worst green beauty products

 

What was your favourite natural/non-toxic beauty product you used this year?

 

 

Plant Based Recipes for the Holidays

found in holidays | 0

Reducing meat and animal products is a great way to be more sustainable during the holidays. These are 7 plant based food ideas which are both delicious and festive:

 

Mulled Wine

A steaming glass of spicy mulled wine is perfect on a cold day. I’ve tried quite a few different ways of making it and Jamie Oliver’s method is definitely the best- creating a syrup first makes it so much more flavorful. Although his recipe is quite sweet, so I’d recommend adding less sugar if you don’t like a very sweet mulled wine.

 

Ginger Molasses Cookies

My favourite treat for the holidays are chewy ginger cookies. I unfortunately don’t have a recipe to share since I don’t usually measure things, but if you search “ginger molasses cookies” there are lots of different recipes. An easy sub for cookies is to replace 1 egg with a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 2.5 tbsp water).

 

Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

This is great salad for any fall/winter dinners. The colours are lovely together and I really like the combination of flavours and textures. You can find the recipe here (although I usually like to add more seeds and cranberries, and use less oil).

 

Crispy Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another great holiday food. I usually just make them roasted with some lemon, but this year we tried out Minimalist Baker’s recipe. They’re delicious but VERY garlic-y so adjust if you’re not huge garlic fans. I also really enjoyed them with the Sriracha aioli dipping sauce, it would make a great appetizer.

 

“Cheesy” Chive Biscuits

Biscuits are also nice to have especially if you have gravy with your meal. Hot for Food has a nice savory biscuit recipe that I tried out and they turned out really good, although I’d recommend using a metal circular cutter if you have one (instead of cutting like I did) to get the nice fluffy edges.

 

Beet Chips

The colour of these baked rosemary beet chips is perfect for the holidays. They’re a great snack, but making them can be a little tricky- it’s very important to cut them evenly and keep an eye on them while baking because they can burn easily.

 

Pastry-Wrapped Lentil Loaf

For the main dish I really recommend this lentil loaf from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. I’ve made this for a few different dinners and it not only looks really impressive but it’s hearty, nutty and a great sub for a meat main. I think it’s best served with an onion or mushroom gravy.

 

 

Happy Holidays! xx

Easy DIY Holiday Decorations

 

Easy, Eco Holiday Decorations

found in holidays | 0

This holiday season keep it green by using natural and re-purposed materials in your decorations. Here’s 5 easy DIY projects that are festive, minimalist, and sustainable.

DIY decorated pom-pom branches

Wintery Branches

You will need:

  • branches
  • jar
  • salt
  • string/yarn
  • a fork
  • scissors

Find some nice looking branches and put them in a jar with salt to hold them and make sure they’re stable.

To make the pom-poms wind the yarn around the fork and then tie together in the middle. Cut the loops on either side and fluff up and pom-pom (here’s some step by step photos). Add a string to hang.

You can also add any other lightweight decorations to the branches. Paper decorations work really well!

 

dried orange slices hanging on branches

Dried Orange Slices

These are lovely to hang in a tree, make a garland, or hang in windows and have the light shine through. You will need:

  • a few oranges (depending how many slices you want to make)
  • kitchen towel
  • oven

Slice the oranges trying to keep them even. Lay the slices out and use a towel to soak up excess moisture. Put them either on an over rack or a baking pan with baking paper. Bake at 100°C, they can take a while to dry out so to save some energy I like to keep them in the oven for around 45 mins (turning the oven off after 30 mins but leaving them in) and then put them on the top of our heater for the rest of the day to totally dry out.

Once the slices are dried you can use as is or take a needle and thread and string them together in a garland or create loops for hanging.

 

Origami star

Origami Stars

These are a nice DIY that you can use scrap paper for. You just need paper and instead of trying to explain the steps probably not very well, here’s a good tutorial on how to fold them.

 

Minimalist Triangle Tree

I love the minimalist/Scandinavian style of this simple tree. It’s perfect for small apartments!

You will need:

  • 6 sticks/dowels (3 shorter and 3 longer depending on how high you want your tree to be)
  • string
  • paper/decorations

Take the 3 shorter sticks and make a trangle with the ends overlapping. Tie each corner together and wind the string around a few times. Take the 3 longer sticks and tie together a few cm from the top making a triangle. Put the open ends into each corner of the bottom triangle and tie together.

You can then either create your own ornaments and hang them from the top, or use a few ornaments you already have. Top the tree off with a star. ⭐

Candle Jars

This is probably the easiest project and they look really lovely. You will need:

  • jars
  • salt
  • tealights and/or floating candles
  • string
  • cinnamon sticks/pine branch
  • oranges/cranberries/rosemary

For the regular candle jars, add a couple cm salt to the bottom of a jar and put a tealight in the middle. Take a few cinnamon stick or a little piece of a pine branch and tie to the outside of the jar.

For the floating candles, add cranberries, orange slices, or rosemary springs to a jar with water and put a floating candle on top. Cranberries work best, other things like orange slices will discolour the water over time, these also wont keep a long time so they’re best as a “day of” decoration.

 

What are your favourite green holiday decorations?

Also check out my plant based holiday recipe ideas!

I added up how much I spent on Ethical Fashion this year

I added up how much I spent on Ethical Fashion this year

The number one response I get when talking about ethical/sustainable fashion is that it’s too expensive. I get it, the price tags are a lot higher when you compare them to fast fashion, but a big part of shopping consciously is also buying less. For the last few years it didn’t seem like I was actually spending a lot more overall buying ethical and sustainable brands because I was also buying fewer items, however I wanted to see for sure. This year I calculated all the money I spent on clothes and shoes, including the retail value of any items that were gifted to me and I was a bit surprised with the results.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average American spent $1,803 on apparel and related services in 2016. Meanwhile a British survey of 2500 people found they each spent an average of £1042 (about $1400 USD) on clothing- although I’m not sure if this did or didn’t include footwear.

This year was definitely a more expensive year for me since in addition to buying a few items for my capsule wardrobe and replacing some pieces, I had to buy a new pair of running shoes, got a nice pair of heels, had to replace my swimsuit, and also invested in a sweater from Izzy Lane for my upcoming winter capsule (even though I’m not wearing it this year I still included it in my calculations). My total expenses for clothing and footwear in 2017 came to the equivalent of $1544 USD. Over $200 less than the average American, but about $145 more than the average Brit (although if the survey actually didn’t included shoes I would definitely be under).

The garments I purchased were from ethical and sustainable brands and yet my spending is close to the averages. People assume I spend more money on clothes because the items have higher price tags, and I even thought my expenses would come out to be above average this year with the 2 pricier shoes (they are about 30% of the total). Next year I’m pretty sure I’ll be under both averages.

I’m excited to have this little bit of data to back up what I suspected – that “buy less, buy better” doesn’t mean you have to spend more. Plus if you’re budget conscious and $1500 USD is too much for a year, there are so many ways to shop consciously and affordably! I have a video all about it. 🙂

Also I have to mention how much I love having a capsule wardrobe. It’s the reason I’ve been able to be more thoughtful and selective with the items I choose to invest in. I don’t mind spending more on a piece not only because it’s ethically made and environmentally friendly but because I know it’s something that’s going to work with my wardrobe and get a lot of wear.

 

 

I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you feel you spend more shopping ethically? Has a capsule wardrobe helped you save money?

 

Let’s talk about gift giving…

found in holidays | 4

book gift with red ribbon

What do you do if you’re trying to live sustainably or minimally but your family or friends love giving presents? This can be a difficult topic and conversation to have. Gift giving a certain way can become a tradition for families and people generally aren’t happy with change – especially with traditions.

I’ve been very fortunate where gift-giving isn’t a big deal in my family, as a kid we never had mountains of presents (it’s crazy how that’s advertised as the “perfect” Christmas) and my family has generally been very practical with gifts – giving things the person has asked for or they know will get used, gift cards to favourite places, consumables, or experiences like a meal out. Instead of gifts to each other my husband and I plan a little weekend away together, since we live away from our families they usually also get involved and will treat us to a nice dinner out on our trip, it’s a lovely time and so much more meaningful than some stuff we don’t want.

If you are trying to reduce unwanted gifts, here’s some of my tips:

 

Keep the conversation positive

I think this is the most important. Telling someone you don’t want “junk” or their sweatshop-made gifts is hurtful and will make them upset and defensive. Instead focus on how other gift ideas make you happy or bring you joy. For example you could explain that you really care about a certain cause so it would mean a lot if instead of gifts they made a donation to a charity/organization, or how you feel so much happier having worked hard on decluttering and instead of physical gifts you’d love to spend some quality time together. If there’s something specific that you’d like, instead of talking about how other similar items might be unsustainable or unethical, focus on how that item would work really well for you and you would use it all the time.

You want them to see how this is something that would make you happy, not feel bad about their gifts or like they are unappreciated.

 

Make alternative suggestions

Maybe your family or friends are feeling the same way about all the gift-giving but no one else has expressed it. They might be very open to other ideas:

  • Instead of getting individual gifts you could suggest that everyone draws names and buys 1 gift for 1 person. This way you can spend a little more on the gift and get something the person truly wants.
  • You could agree to gift experiences – dinners, movie tickets, coffee dates, or any activity they enjoy. Instead of giving gifts why not spend time together doing something you all enjoy?
  • If you’re all into food and cooking you could decide to gift consumables like homemade cookies, coffee/tea, favorite liquors, etc.
  • Or another option if you’re all crafty is to give handmade gifts
  • You could all use a wishlist. There are apps like Giftster where everyone lists things they’d like, you can share it with a group and mark things that are purchased so there won’t be duplicates. This way people can ask for things they actually want and it makes shopping easier for everyone.

Cookies and presents

Show extra appreciation when people respect your wishes

Remember that it can be a big deal for some people to change their habits and if your relative who loves giving knick-knacks gave you a charitable donation like you asked, they might be worried that it’s not “enough” or you won’t be happy when everyone else get their gifts. Make an extra effort to thank them and explain that it’s a wonderful gift and really means a lot to you. Of course you should show gratitude, but taking extra time to explain how meaningful it is will help the person know they made the right choice and they’ll also likely remember for the next time how special that gift was to you.

 

Finally, what about when you receive an unwanted gift?

I think it’s important to be gracious receiving the gift and then try to find that item a home where it will actually be used. I really like how Courtney Carver explains gift giving, that the “gift” isn’t the physical object, the gift is meant to be an expression of love or appreciation so you can keep the intention of the gift but still let go of the object, the person who gave you the gift likely wouldn’t want it to cause you stress or negative feelings.

If you know someone who would use and appreciate the gift, re-gifting can be a great option. Also look for charities you might be able to donate it to, for example if you received skincare products that you won’t use try to find a local shelter that takes care and hygiene products.

 

I would really love to hear your thoughts and tips on this topic! Are unwanted gifts an issue for your conscious lifestyle? Have you tried talking to others about it or suggesting alternatives?

 

Photos from Unsplash
Beautiful Toys for Kids

Beautiful Toys for Kids

found in Community, holidays | 0

 

To supplement the green gift guide, my wonderful sister-in-law Gabrielle Beauchamp wrote this guest post for you sharing some of her favourite quality toys for children:

 

Traditionally, Christmas is a time of year where consumption is high- lots of meals, parties- and presents. So. Many. Presents. Especially if there are children in your life, you may be asking yourself how you can make smarter purchasing decisions that make a smaller impact on your environment, while still giving beautiful gifts to those you love.

My husband and I have made a commitment to purchase presents for our daughter this year that hold true to our core values- we only want to introduce objects into our house that will last, that are environmentally conscious, and/or ethically or ideally, locally produced.

I hope these toy ideas will help you if you’re looking to do the same!

recycled plastic cupcake toy from Green Toys

Green Toys

These little cupcakes come in a tray, and have three different coloured stackable bits so that you can mix and match them. They are made of recycled plastic (from milk jugs!), and are a great addition to any play kitchen. Who doesn’t like playing with cupcakes? I haven’t found a child yet who doesn’t love to serve these little cakes up when they come over for a visit- the only challenge is keeping all the parts together. These are made in the USA- and there are many other products that would make great Christmas gifts- stackable blocks, kitchen sets, cars, trucks, ferries and more. They’ve got a ton of options for the children on your list.

 

Ouistine vegetable toys

Ouistitine

Do you know what kids like to do when they are playing with pretend food? They like to put it in their mouth and pretend to eat it. I am so confident in the quality of Ouistitine’s products that I wouldn’t hesitate to allow my daughter to ‘eat’ these veggies to her hearts delight! Ouistitine is a Canadian brand of toy and home goods, and also make dolls, toys, puppets, and more. My daughter and I (along with her friends) tested out their vegetable basket this summer, which are each handmade with pure, reused wool, and stuffed with carded wool.

They are made in Montreal Canada, and are wonderful toys made with attention to detail by designers with exceptional style- if you are looking for something made with care that is mindful of the environment, Ouistitine’s beautiful selections will more than fit the bill. Because I especially love to keep my gift purchasing local, I will be picking up one of their stunning little hedgehogs for the smallest child in my family, and some hand puppets for creative playtime. They also carry a line of beautiful cards for any occasion, so make sure to stock up before the holidays!

 

hedgehog and mouse toys from Maileg

Maileg

These little cuties are designed in Denmark and made using natural materials- linen and cotton. My daughter loves putting her little mouse, ‘Flower Flour’ to bed in her cardboard matchbox, and tucking her into the beautiful sheets. The little hedgehog ‘Holly’ gets to sleep wrapped tightly in her adorable leaf bed. They are also great travel companions- small enough to fit easily into a toddler backpack, and not too annoying to carry in your pocket when your little one gets tired of carrying them! Maileg’s toys are simple, clean, beautiful, and crafted with exceptional attention to detail.

 

Djeco wooden ox block

Djeco

Djeco is a French company that makes all sorts of wooden toys and games for children. This ox guy is part of the ZeTribu stacking blocks collection, which has a bunch of different stackable animal body parts- not only are these fun to play with, they also look beautiful no matter which way you stack them- these are one of the few toys I don’t mind keeping out after playtime is done. They also have a huge selection of games and puzzles for your little ones.

 

Thanks so much to Gabrielle for sharing her children’s toy picks! For more gift ideas for the rest of your family and friends check out My Green Gift Guide. Gabrielle also was a guest on the channel and made a couple videos reviewing natural sunscreen and care products for kids and also sustainable kids clothing!

 

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