May 4, 2014

Weekend Ramblings: A Conversation with Jess MacQueen of Ecoholic Beauty

When I started blogging, I was always looking for inspiration and now, with my interest natural beauty, I am being inspired by a whole new group of people. One of these people is the beautiful Jess MacQueen of Ecoholic Beauty

Recently, Jess kindly took the time to chat with me about her natural skincare journey and some of her favorite products. If you read on, you will easily see what inspired me about her.  I hope you enjoy the interview and in case you haven't already, visit Jess' blog by clicking here.

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Vanity Talk: What first sparked your interest in natural beauty and skincare products?
Jess MacQueen: I’ve told the story many times about how my husband had a health scare that really pushed me to reevaluate the toxins I come in contact with on a daily basis. More recently, I’ve become seriously invested in natural beauty and personal care products for two reasons: 1) I’m taking steps to take better care of myself, and pampering with my favorite natural products is a great way to practice self-care 2) I came off of hormonal birth control about eight months ago and since then, I’ve been especially cognizant of how certain toxins effect our endocrine system (hormones!).
VT: What’s your favorite tip to share with people who are natural newcomers?
JM: I like to encourage natural newbies to aim for affordable products with simple ingredients, and fortunately there are lots of great brands and resources out there that make breaking into the green beauty world really accessible (and most are available online!). I always point newbies to a few tried and true resources: 1) iHerb, your one-stop online shop that carries just about everything related to natural beauty, skincare, haircare, health, and food. 2) The All Natural Face and Silk Naturals are both seriously budget friendly natural cosmetics lines.
VT: Who are the major players in your skincare routine right now? How about in your makeup routine?
JM: Skincare staples for me include raw honey for a morning cleanse, organic jojoba oil to remove makeup and moisturize, Heritage StoreRosewater and George’s Aloe facial sprays (I use both for moisture and to set makeup), Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub for gentle exfoliation, and DIY facial masks using things like clay, essential oils, and all sorts of ingredients I find in my kitchen (oatmeal, yogurt, lemon, avocado, strawberries, nutmeg… the list goes on!).

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VT: What is one natural item (makeup and/ or skincare) that you think everyone should own?
JM: A good oil! Now hear me out: oils often get a bad wrap in the conventional beauty world because folks wrongly assume oil is bad and causes acne, but one thing every green beauty knows is how nourishing and moisturizing natural oils are for our skin, hair, and nails. Not only that, oils are often multipurpose, like my favorite: jojoba. I use organic, cold-pressed jojoba oil to remove my makeup, as a facial and body moisturizer, in my hair, on my nails, etc. Other lovely oils include avocado, coconut, almond, argan, apricot kernel, rosehip etc.
VT: You are extremely popular on YouTube! What’s the biggest difference between blogging and creating videos besides the obvious technological differences?
JM: Creating videos is definitely a lot more labour-intensive than blogging, because so much more time goes into crafting a well-executed video. First off, there’s a great deal of prep that happens ‘behind the scenes’ to create an aesthetically pleasing set. I also tend to get a bit gussied up for filming days, unlike blogging in my pajamas. I also rely on great natural light for my videos, so I have a window of time during the day that is best for filming, whereas I can blog anywhere, anytime. Editing videos can be a lot more tedious than editing a blog post, and I often get annoyed with hearing my own voice as I’m editing a video. Aside from the difference in labour, there’s also the major difference of exposure—putting yourself out there! I’m basically on display for the world to see in my videos, which can make me feel a bit vulnerable at times. But so far, the response and support from my subscribers has been really positive.
VT: If people really want to get a sense of what Ecoholic Beauty is all about, what’s the first video or blog post they should check out?
JM: Probably any one of my monthly favorites videos, so you can get a sense of the range of my interests and the products I feature on my channel.

And on that note, I give you Jess' most recent monthly favorites videos...

I hope you all enjoyed this feature. I'm really looking forward to sharing more interviews with you in the upcoming weeks!

Who are some of your greatest blogger inspirations? They can be food bloggers, fashion bloggers, dog bloggers... you name it!

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