Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WELCOME TO A BEAUTIFUL PURSUIT

It's live!

I could never have imagined the growth, response, and opportunity S&S would afford me over the last 3+ years. Nor could I imagine my original scope evolving into this gorgeous new opportunity to share. In short, it's a shift from I to We, a place where a community of encouragers share their support towards the desire to do better in all aspects of life. A collective publication of all the things you need to know without the clutter of salacious tag lines or pressures of perfection.

We hope you'll join us in this new part of the journey as the new site is home to more content, some amazing partnerships and awesome exclusives, more inspiration and a push toward the change we all crave. Don't worry, I'll still be contributing while also taking on more of an editorial role as we seek out content from some of the leading influencers in the industry. My hand will be in everything, our intention simply has a bigger platform.

Once we work out all of our redirects for the most popular posts, Sparkles & Spit Up will automatically default to A Beautiful Pursuit. So head on over and explore, save us in your favorites, follow us on Instagram, catch up on our YouTube... and as always, let us know what you want to see.

We wouldn't be here without you, so with a tear and heart full of appreciation, thank you.




For the last time as S&S,

Amanda

Thursday, April 14, 2016

CELEBRATING MOTHER'S DAY WITH BUTTER


Mother's Day celebrations are always special. Whether it's with your own Mom, in honor of her, or celebrating with the friends in your life that are now mother's themselves and especially if you're a Mom. It's a relatively thankless (yet completely glorifying) job, so when you're in the club, you know it deserves a day of its own.



Now that I'm a mother I constantly stop myself and think, "I now know why my Mom did this..." It could be anything from worrying to constantly cleaning, but I especially know why my Mom always had her trusty Chardonnay.

I recall thinking Chardonnay was the worst wine on the market when I turned 21, who would drink such a thing? But as I got older, I began to understand why it's the number one varietal in the United States. It's drinkable, refreshing and pairs well with so much. And over the past few years, it's become my wine of choice, and over the past few years I've also been a mother - my oh my. how we've come full circle! That old adage about your Mother's Chardonnay, well, it now pertains to you.

Thankfully with brands like Butter, we'll actually claim it! If you haven't tried Butter Chardonnay, it's aptly named and bold in its buttery nature. It's rich, luscious and easy to drink, marrying a lovely vanilla finish with some baked lemon aromas. So technically it could be your favorite wine and favorite dessert rolled into one, making it a preferred choice when staring at an entire wine aisle. It doesn't hurt that the label is adorable and might as well say "Drink Me".

So wherever you are and whomever you are celebrating this Mother's Day, grab a bottle of Butter (nationwide at Wholefoods, Bevmo, Kroger and more - find out here) and toast it up high. As mothers were stronger than we ever knew, love more than we ever thought capable, and at the end of the day, we're more like our Mothers than we'd like to admit - and that's something to celebrate.



For more on Butter, Jam and Toast wines, head on over to The Scoop for information, chances to win BottleRock tickets, swag and more!


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beautycounter's NEW Baby Line: Does it Pass the Test?

Beautycounter's new Baby line is simple, chic and approachable if we're judging this book by the cover, but we all know when it comes to products, ESPECIALLY those for children, it's what's on the inside that matters.

Babies are more susceptible to toxin exposure and vulnerable to their effects. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), "the EPA has determined that infants up to age 2 are, on average, 10 times more vulnerable to carcinogenic chemicals than adults. Before the age of 2 babies have accumulated 50% of their life-time cancer risk." Well, that certainly gives us the motivation to seek clean products! And if children do most of their development in the first few years of life, why would we want to hinder that with products that may have toxins lurking within? This is why we're always in search of products that walk the talk and in no way try to snow us over with their glossy baby advertising or well-known brand names to hide toxins.

Beautycounter has had an established kids line, aptly named Kidscounter, from its inception. However, the three-product offering hasn't always stood out in our mind as our children's brand of choice. In a market full of newly emerging safe products, the line seems to have fallen a little flat, albeit a better-than-mainstream choice.

Photo: Beautycounter


So did the Baby line step up its game? And better yet, would we use it on our own children?

First let's start with the Baby Gentle All-Over Wash. Some of the ingredients are a little hard to interpret, but they're just fancy names for plant-derived surfactants and conditioners. This is a great example of the ability of both natural and synthetic ingredients to be harm-free and play well together. Many times people equate synthetic to mean bad... not always the case, it just means man-made, not toxic. And while we do prefer having more natural ingredients in our products, this one measures low on the EWG scale. We found the formula to be lovely, mild and effective, without being drying or irritating. We don't know if this will be the wash for us, but we certainly don't discount viability as a safer alternative.

Traditional balms can often contain petroleum derived ingredients contaminated with toxic chemicals that don't allow the skin to breathe, but not the Baby Daily Protective Balm which is full of organic oils and butters. This luxurious balm creates both a barrier gentle enough for newborns while also providing breathable, soothing hydration. We found this balm to be incredibly versatile from baby bottoms to chapped skin, cuticles, and even bumps, cuts, and bruises. This is pretty much a win for the entire family. Dare we say it has tied with our favorite Honest Organic Healing Balm?

Last, and not at all least since it's our favorite, is the Baby Soothing Oil. (We may have actually all gotten bottles for ourselves, but back to the wee ones.) This product has straight-forward, easy to understand ingredients like Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E and Jojoba Seed Oil - that's it. The oil is luscious, feels good on the skin and absorbs in decent time, so neither you or baby is left slipping and sliding around. It soothes and nourishes while also helping delicate skin retain moisture.

The Verdict

All in all, we're actually impressed, and thrilled that a brand with such viral potential and Capitol Hill power has stepped into the baby game with some honorable products. Our picks are definitely the Baby Soothing Oil and Protective Balm - which we would use on the entire family (which makes our the less-products-the-better hearts happy). And as always, we appreciate that with Beautycounter we don't have to worry about parabens, "fragrance" or any other of their 1500 banned ingredients on their Never List. Bonus for telling us the packaging type and how to properly recycle it.



It's worth noting that babies, as much as they are handled and snuggled, are also vulnerable to the toxins you apply on your own skin. This is a great time to consider switching your daily products to cleaner alternatives - and that goes without saying that going clean while baby is in the womb is a very good idea!