I'm gonna be real honest about something. It's something that's actually kept me from doing reviews like this in the past. Well, no, not reviews. It's kept me from doing pictures like this before.

Because... I have horrible nails.

This is partly my fault, because I always forget to use the nail oils that I have that I know work, and partly because I'm just really hard on my nails. But as a result, I tend to keep them short and leave them be.

But when I got these Jamberry Nail wraps in the mail, I just couldn't say no. They were so pretty. So cute. So lovely. And so I grew my nails out just for this picture.​

Actually I meant to take a lot more pictures than that, but I chickened out. Oh well. 

Bask in the glory of my beautified nails.

As a quick note, Jamberry Nails is not a 100% gluten free company.

They also sell nail care and nail polish and these products are not gluten free. However, all of the 200+ nail wrap designs are totally safe.

So how did I like it?

After staring at the rows upon rows of stunning patterns on the website, I only had two concerns:

  1. Application Process
  2. Length of time it stays good

1. Process

My #1 concern with a nail wrap was pretty basic: Application process. Would it be easy to use for everything-nail-challenged me? Well. Take a look at that photo again and you tell me. See how smooth they are? First time to ever apply a nail wrap and that's what I got. Pretty sweet, huh?

A few days later I rapidly saw where skill could have improved the application, because it began to crease at the tips a little. It was barely noticable, but I wondered if it would have a bearing on how long they lasted.​

Which brings me to...​

2. Lasting Power​

The wraps are said to last two weeks on fingernails. I thought 'Aw sure, if you're good at it. Bet it won't last that long for me.'

Well. It did. It lasted a full two weeks! As the wraps wore on, the tips began to fray and want to peel, but it wasn't until right about the two week mark I finally decided it was the end of their lifetime. ​Only afterwards did I realize that "moment" was exactly two weeks after I first applied them.

All in all, I love these nail wraps! They are gorgeous, easy to apply and loads of fun! ​

At $15 a set with enough wraps for two applications, they're an inexpensive manicure you can do at home that just so happen to be totally adorable.

Interested in seeing more Jamberry designs on my poor little nails? Keep an eye on my Instagram!


Meanwhile, go check out their website to get a few wraps of your own! Or, you know, maybe a lot of wraps.

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Can you please help me to understand if Tocopheryl Acetate and Tocopherol are forms of gluten that should not be applied topically? The internet has conflicting stories.

Confused about Tocopheryl Acetate

tocopherylsafeThat’s a very good question. The reason that there are conflicting stories about tocopheryl acetate’s safety is because nobody really knows the answer to it. Thanks to a lack of scientific study, we’re left to speculate on what little data we have. That said, there are some pointers to help us come to a conclusion.

First off, we do know that tocopheryl acetate is a form of tocopherol. And we know that tocopherol can be derived from gluten grains. In fact, in my experience, most tocopherol is gluten grain derived.

But here’s where it starts to get messy and where nobody agrees:

1. Is there any gluten actually left in the tocopheryl acetate after all that processing?

Yes. Yes there is gluten left.

But it’s unfortunately not that simple anymore. Officially, the FDA has said that anything that is derived from gluten can be considered gluten free if it is tested under 20 ppm. Much of tocopherol is now being tested below 20 ppm, so it can be considered gluten free.

While the rulings technically only apply to food products, this standard is being adopted across the board. Therefore you can find “gluten free meaning <20 ppm” tocopherol in all kinds of makeup.

About that <20 ppm… The FDA says this should be perfectly safe, but they said that after admitting that some sensitive Celiacs may be able to react to gluten all the way down to 10 ppm. Weird, right? Except when you start to realize that wheat based ingredients are some of the cheapest ones out there… Things start to fall into place. Once again, it looks like the FDA isn’t purely interested in keeping every Celiac safe. This ruling is for the benefit of the companies who want to jump on the bandwagon as cheaply as possible.

It might be OK for you to use <20 ppm gluten products, especially on your skin where you’re not ingesting it. But I’ve heard from countless people that it’s not just good enough for them. They still get sick from it

2. If there is gluten, is it OK to put it on your skin?

The fact is, there are nearly no scientific studies about the effects of topical gluten on Celiacs or gluten sensitive individuals.

Everything you hear is personal experience and speculation that goes around. It’s educated speculation, but speculation nonetheless. They say it’s fine to use, because gluten cannot penetrate the skin’s barrier. But they also say Celiacs do not react to topical gluten at all. So how do they justify those who do react topically to gluten? Because some people do, without question. I have personally spoken to countless people who finally narrowed down their issues to topical gluten in their makeup, skin care or hair care. Without definitive evidence giving us the why or the how, we cannot make a set standard that will work for everyone

At the end of the day, the only thing we can know for sure is how you and you alone react to all these products. Some people can handle the <20 ppm, even internally. Others cannot handle that topically and would be put in bed for days if that were taken internally. If you don’t already know for sure what your tolerance level is, why risk getting sick if you can avoid it?

 

So… Is any tocopherol safe?

Not all tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate is derived from gluten grains. It can be derived from rice and soy as well. So yes, some of it is safe! Same end product, but different source. And that’s the tocopherol that I personally feel comfortable recommending to y’all.

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If this shouldn’t be the statement sheet of every gluten intolerant person on earth, then I don’t know what should be.

You need to go check out Gluten Dude’s “Celiac Rants”, if you haven’t already. If you’ve ever felt alone in your gluten free struggles, the stories there will remind you that we are all in this together. Gluten Dude’s readers share their tales of frustration, tears, indignation and plain ‘ol bull**** under varying levels of anonymity and there is something magical about it. Go read them. Seriously.

The other day, someone sent in a rant that stated they had had “some frustrating discussions with my husband and a co-worker who said I better stop talking about gluten free foods or people will start talking about me”. In honor of this, they composed a letter that should be set to music and sang from the rooftops. It hit home so hard for me, I got permission to translate it to infographic(ish) form.

Gluten Free is not a Fad!!

Check out the original post at Gluten Dude’s website HERE.

On a side note, Gluten Dude has recently become an Associate Editor of Simply Gluten Free Magazine and I’m really excited to have him join us!

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Introducing a Brand New Series!

I get a ton of questions every single day in my inbox. From basic “which gluten free makeup products are the best?” to complex questions such as “is any tocopheryl safe?” just come pouring in one after another. Some of them are utterly unique, some of them so similar to each other that I’ve come to the realization that it’s basically a question everybody has.

So it finally occurred to me a that if everyone has these questions, why not turn it into a series and share these answers with everyone?

Introducing “Dear Gluten Free Makeup Gal

Where I share answers I’ve given to y’all for everyone to see.

 

If there’s a question you’ve been dying to ask me, keep an eye on this column. You may find it answered right here. Or if you don’t want to wait, use my contact form and send it in!

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Hello folks! I hope you’ve had a wonderful New Year thus far! Which didn’t include a new gluten free makeup list update. Even thought it was a new quarter. Yep. I’ll just go… Sit in my corner for that.

Y’all may or may not know that I had a long, drawn-out, excruciating move that stalled everything on Gluten Free Makeup Gal for several months. I was actually worried that because of this, I wouldn’t have anything to update y’all with on the list. But not so, my fair friends! Not so! Despite all the crazy, thanks to wonderful Readers and spare moments, there are still some new things on the list to have a look at.

The changes this time around are as follows:

  • Linden Leaves is now 100% gluten free. You no longer have to avoid any of the products!
  • EcoLips has been added to the list. A neat company with some fun lip balms. They also have a new thing where you create your own lip balm using their site!
  • Think Pretty has been added to the list. They sell only pure “Beauty Elixirs”, serums with several formulations for different skin types and lifestyles.
  • Blue Lizard has been added to the list. An Australian company selling sunscreen I’ve heard is fantastic.
  • BITE Beauty has been officially changed to state that it is tested gluten free. Pretty sweet, huh?

For now, these are all the current changes. But I have some other ideas lurking in my mind that I am striving to put into place as soon as possible. Ideas that will make the gluten free makeup list EXPLODE with functionality. That will turn the list into something powerful, living, breathing and interactive. Sound cool to y’all? I can’t wait to get it in place, so stay tuned for big changes in 2014 my beautiful friends!

If you have already signed up for the Gluten Free Makeup List, then it’s in your inbox right now. If not, grab it through the form below!

Find Safely Gluten Free Makeup Companies

Also featuring gluten free skincare, hair care & body care

Enter your name and email address for an instant download!

Enjoy your gluten free makeup list!

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How many times have you had to fly out the door with only minutes to spare. Barely enough time to throw makeup on, but you wanna made up, right? Well Marlena from Makeup Geek has this awesome tutorial that I stumbled across and just had to share!

Winged liner in under a minute? Get out of here. But actually, it’s possible!

Here’s my gluten free makeup product recommendations for this tutorial:

Just place the scotch tape along the outer part of your eye, using your lower lash line as a guideline. She angles it towards slightly below the end of her eyebrow, but personally I prefer to angle it right at the end of my brow. But it’s your choice! Then take your bent liner brush or any super small makeup brush and apply the eyeliner along the tape, connecting it to your upper lash line.  You’ll want to fill it in to form a triangle shape- this is what gives the illusion of winged liner.

If you have an extra minute, you can turn your winged liner into a softly smudged cat eye.  All you need are 2 more products:

Take a pencil brush and daub a dark brown eyeshadow (or any color for that matter) on top of your gel liner. Start to smudge it upwards to smoke out the liner, staying close to your lash line as well as the tape you placed on earlier. All you’re doing is turning the winged liner into a smudged out cat eye shape by “smoking out” the eyeshadow.

And there ‘ya have it! Pretty cool, huh? Makeup Geek is one of my all time fav makeup artists. I only wish her makeup was gluten free. But hey- at least we still have her tips, tricks and secrets! 😉

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The world of gluten free cosmetics is growing rapidly, with various basic products saturating the market just like the “normal” world of cosmetics. Endless loose eyeshadows, foundations and blushes can be found all over the place. However, there are still a few products that are difficult to find. One of them Pure Skn has. And I have a sister who lit up as soon as I told her about it.

Gluten free lip plumper. Spoiler alert: It’s not your average lip plumper.

Having already enjoyed Pure Skn’s gluten free skin care, I was totally ready to check out the cosmetics line. Mostly intrigued by the lip plumper, I soon discovered that I had a lot more to love from them than that alone. Pure Skn Gluten Free Makeup Here’s what I got to try:

While the lip plumper is obviously the most unique of all three of these products, I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of them stand out from the rest.

Mineral Foundation

Pure Skn Mineral Foundation I’m sure y’all know by now that mineral foundations are easy to come by in the gluten free world. Some of them are good, some of them meh, some of them outright bad. Well it turns out that Pure Skn’s foundation is one of the good ones and remarkably good at covering redness. In addition, it leaves a particularly smooth finish. Their color selection is decent, ranging across many skin tones from very fair to very dark. The Warm Light I tried was a tad too pale for me, but it’s perfect for my fairer sister. For my very favorite way to use this though, you have to get it with Pure Skn Moisturizer. Sprinkle some foundation into your hand, squirt some moisturizer on top, then mix it up with a finger and apply it to your face. Voila! Tinted moisturizer that doesn’t crease and has a flawless finish! I’m a little obsessed with doing this right now and have found Pure Skn’s foundation to be particularly good at not caking or creasing.

Eyeshadow

Pure Skn Mineral EyeshadowThe bottom of the jar says that the Neutral Mocha is a lash line eye shadow. I don’t know if it says that on all the jars or just the darker ones, but the Neutral Mocha at least is not really a lash line shadow. With a lovely sheen and wearable lightness to it, it’s actually a good soft lid shadow. A little goes a long way with this powder, since it blends beautifully and tends to try to fall if you put too much on at a time. It’s called a “neutral” mocha, but I think the shade actually leans a little more on the warm side. Not so much though that it should be a problem for anyone. 😉

Natural Lip Plumper

Pure Skn Lip PlumperUtilizing cinnamon oil and variety of essential oils, this lip plumper tingles softly and gets the blood circulating in your lips for a slight plumping effect. With no funky chemical and a sweetly spiced scent, it’s not the most powerful lip plumper I’ve used before, but it is the only gluten free lip plumper that I know of. First though I’ve gotta admit: I’ve never been a lip plumper fan. The main reason is because I couldn’t stand the tingling and I’m not overly fond of how huge my lips can get with them. Having fairly full lips already, this is simply not a priority for me. However. This lip plumper not only does not tingle to the point of near pain (hallelujah!), but it’s also one of the most moisturizing lip products I have in my entire makeup collection. With various natural oils that include coconut oil, it turns out that this lip plumper is a fabulous prelude to lipstick. Enhancing the natural color of your lips, plumping just enough to fill in fine lines and deeply moisturizing, you could just use this alone because it does have a nice sheen that is not overly sticky. But lately I’ve been wiping it off, applying lipstick, then putting back on top of the lipstick for sheen and continual plumping. But I guess what speaks most about this product is that it keeps getting stolen from me. And hey now- where did half of my bottle go already!?

All in all, I’m quite happy with Pure Skn’s products! And clearly so is everyone else, since they keep getting taken from my kit… Ahem. Go check ’em out at their website!

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Gluten free skin care with tea in it. Oh yeah, and it’s all natural and organic too. Curious? ME TOO. That’s all it took to send me scrambling to find out more. As it turns out,  Pure Skn is a line of both skin care and cosmetics that focuses on making the basics natural, organic, excellent and accessible.

Our skin care products contain natural free radical busters, such as vitamins A, C and E, red rooibos tea from South Africa, and white and green teas, among others. To complete the synergy of our expertly formulated ingredients, we have infused our products with therapeutic grade essential oils to further support the body’s ability to repair and renew skin as well as improve emotional and mental well-being.

Seriously y’all- TEA. It has tea in it. Also essential oils. But tea. This isn’t something you see very often. Of course you’ve heard about how tea is an antioxidant powerhouse and how we all should drink it, yada yada. Everyone knows that. But what about putting it on your skin? Combined with vitamins? And truly all natural ingredients?

Sounds like a winner to me, y’all. 😉

Pure Skn's gluten free skin care

I got to try a couple products from both the skin care and the makeup lines, but for this review I’m focusing on the gluten free skin care.

As might be expected, both products have an interesting, yummy, earthy and decidedly tea-ish scent. You can catch whiffs of both the teas and the lavender and rosemary essential oils, which combines into an interesting and fresh aroma.

Pure Cleanser

With a creamy, yet light texture, this cleanser is no fuss and down to earth. For being so soft to the touch, this cleanser is surprisingly tough. I’ve found it to be much more exfoliating than I had anticipated and helpful in keeping my skin from getting too oily. While not advertised as a cleanser for oily skin, I feel that it may work particularly well for that skin type. With neem oil, olive oil and aloe vera, it is not particularly drying, even for the notoriously harsh troubled skin type cleansers.

If you are sensitive to aloe vera juice, you will want to be wary of this cleanser. But all in all, I love the way this cleanser smells and how thorough it feels on my face.

Pure Moisturizer

I’m not exactly a moisturizer type gal, in fact tending to skip it frequently. But crazy enough, I think this is my favorite of the two skin care products I’ve tried. No, really.

The lightness of this moisturizer, how it never makes my skin oily, and the soothing yet invigorating qualities it has make this something I’ve been using daily since I had it in hand. I love how it leaves a faint tingling on my skin for a few seconds after application. Not even vaguely uncomfortable, just “alive” feeling. It feels amazing, even on my troubled skin. Which, after a stressful move and the holidays, I’ve had a lot of lately.

But there’s another reason I’ve fallen in love with this moisturizer: It makes for an amazing base to mix my mineral foundation in and create tinted moisturizer. Soaking in quickly and never leaving creases, I’ve begun using this quick “tinted moisturizer” that I blend in my hand every single time I put on makeup. Since it never makes my skin oily, I don’t have to worry about “too much” moisturization. I just get all the awesomeness of tinted moisturizer completely gluten free and in my favorite mineral foundation shade.

In the next few days, I’ll be posting my reviews of some of the Pure Skn cosmetic products- including a mineral foundation you can make that tinted moisturizer with. 😉

This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Check back in a few days to see part 2!

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A new kind of Makeup Tutorial

At least, it’s new for me. Quite different than anything I’ve ever done before. And it will be in the January/February 2014 edition of Simply Gluten Free Magazine.

simply_gluten_free_magazine_janfeb14-3f

Hmmm… That picture doesn’t look like my normal pics, does it?

simply_gluten_free_magazine_janfeb14-1f

Shiny. And full. And see those peeeerfect teeth.

simply_gluten_free_magazine_janfeb14-2f

So tell me. Can y’all figure out what’s up with my upcoming article? Hint: The answer is in the above photo! Or at least… Part of it. 😉

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Is your Skincare Routine Ready for Spring?

So you just read my article in Simply Gluten Free Magazine and now you’re here, wanting more info on spring skincare and makeup. How does specific products and tutorials sound to you? Right, I thought so. ;)

As spring comes around, you might find that the products you need for your new routine are either outdated or just plain not in your cabinet. If you read my article in Simply Gluten Free Magazine (which I'm sure you did, since you're here now!), you already know how to detect rancid products. If you haven't read the article, go do it right now. Because it's awesome (in my not-so-humble opinion). But besides that, the whole magazine is fantastic, so don't miss it!

But what if you don't have any products for spring skincare? What if nothing in your cabinet quite "fits the ticket"? Well to be honest, I've found myself in a similar situation. Um, oops... But to fix that, here's what I found to replenish my stock!

Cleure Gluten Free Exfoliator

Gentle Exfoliation

Utilizing fine pumice, this exfoliator was designed for sensitive skin. Don't be afraid to use it weekly!

Raw.Ceuticals RegeneC 3% C-masque

Hydrating Mask

Designed for dry or aging skin and more, this mask's various properties hit home for after-winter skin.

Light Moisture

Ditch your heavy creams and switch to a light moisturizer that can handle your changing skin.

Airy Foundation

As it warms up, consider trying powder foundation. It won't melt in heat and will allow your pores to breathe.

Lots of Sunscreen!

I know it's kinda obvious, but it can be so hard to find! This SPF 30 sunscreen is super reasonably priced.

Kiss of Bronzer "Sun"

Jumpstart your summer glow with bronzer. Get the sunkissed look before the sun starts to kiss.

Brighten your Toes

Celebrate sandal season and treat yourself to some fun new nail polish in sunshiny shades!

Spring up your Look

Bounce into the new season with one palette! The colors are hot hot hot and make updating your look easy.

So there's just a few of my favorite ways you can ride into this new season. As the weather warms up, I hope you have fun embracing Spring!

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