Crystal, a farm girl, marketer and blogger hailing from Iowa started a beauty swap a year ago. For a year, I've watched as bloggers across the country have swapped products and stories. I was not about to stand on the sidelines for the first anniversary swap.
Opening a box of beauty products the week of Christmas is pretty much like starting the Hallmark version of Christmas early. Pair that with walking into the house after a solid hour at the gym and my word did I need a few beauty products.
I immediately grabbed the Yes to Blueberries facial wipes. It's like my swap partner, Ashley, knew my face would need this. They're delicious. Violet Beauregarde would eat them in a second.
As a new Texan, I was drawn to the Fave 4 shaping hairspray. I'd seen Ashely rave about this product on her Instagram account, and was dying to try it! What girl doesn't appreciate a little volume?
If tasked with naming my top product in this get, it's absolutely, ringing affirmative, hands down the Pacha Soap. This product (I sampled the sweet orange ginger) is environmentally sustainable and benefits its many stakeholders. For each bar purchased, one bar is given to someone in need. Wha? Let's all buy soap from Nebraska!
As a self-proclaimed Sephora addict, this brought me to a halt. Why haven't I been purchasing products that directly benefit someone other than myself? Shame on me.
We can do better. We can choose products based on their source rather than the praise of our pores.
Although, happy pores are always a bonus.
Not to get all emo, but this swap opened my mind. Expanded my horizons, if you will.
Have you stopped to think just where your products come from? I'm not saying there's a right or wrong answer, but sometimes taking the time to really think about products — food, clothing, beauty or otherwise — can broaden your appreciation for this first world we've come to know and love.
We're fortunate — you and me.
Thank you for these wonderful products, Ashley.
What I sent Ashley of Ashley's Makeup Artistry
Ashley, a professional makeup artist in Omaha, Nebraska, practices a vegan lifestyle using cruelty-free products. When I received my beauty swap partner details and quickly browsed her site, her career became more intimidating than you could imagine. She does makeup professionally. I'm a hobby artist just trying keep on the right side of the Snooki to Jessie James Decker scale.
As I researched products, I found I use quite a few products meeting Ashley's requirements. Knowing she doesn't spend more than 10 - 15 minutes on her makeup and she's pretty set in her ways as far as products are concerned, I focused on products that could make her life a little easier.
I use Urban Decay's body beauty balm nearly anytime I'm going to bare my appendages and can't leave the house without their makeup setting spray. Winter in any geography can be brutal, so hand moisturizer was a must.
For the full run down on the products, and what Ashley thought of them visit Ashley's Makeup Artistry.
brainchild of the #ccbeautyswap: Crystal Blin
Where did you get the idea for a beauty swap?
I love make-up. I also love the people that I have connected with via social media. This has been a fun way to combine the two. Also, I wanted other women to realize that just because I live on a farm and raise cattle doesn't mean that I don't love make-up, fancy shoes and skinny jeans. Lipstick can be and is quite often worn around cows.
What motivates you to keep blogging? Since Spring of '09, no less.
Again, the people have kept me motivated. Sometimes you don't think anyone is reading and then a friend sends you a message saying "did you know my aunt reads your blog," or "my wife thinks I am way cooler because I know you." We all have a story to tell and mine involves agriculture. I want people to feel like they have a connection with a farmer so they can ask me about their food, and not google.
Do you have a favorite post — yours or any participants — related to the swap?
Maybe not favorite beauty swap posts but favorite products? I am pretty sure stock has gone up in EOS lip balm thanks to the beauty swap. I love Fake Up Concealer thanks to the Beauty Swap. Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray and MAC's paint pots to use as an eyeshadow base are other favorites.
Of all your posts, which is your favorite?
Tough question. Recently, it was post about writing thank you cards. I think they are VERY important. Showing gratitude in general is very important; on the other end of the spectrum I like my Why We Use Antibiotics on our Farm. This post goes back to talking with farmers about food not google.