You may already know her from her pretty blog, Plein Vanity. And if not, you will definitely enjoy reading it as much as I do. Read on to see her views on the green beauty community, must have brands, and dealing with being a perfectionist in an imperfect world.
The French word “plein” means “full”, “whole” or “fully”. In describing my blog, it’s a full-on assortment of my vanity; all the things I want to cling to my personality, to my appearance, to my personal being.
1. If you had to choose one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
2. How would you define the word ‘perfect’?
Call me a realist, but perfect to me is an ideal that we all strive to capture in many areas of life but may not ever reach.
I’m not sure if it’s even a word I can apply to anything because I believe nothing is perfect. Maybe we are not supposed to be capable of being “perfect” because how would life experiences, trials and tribulations shape our lives and our existence if we had no faults or problems?
I’m not sure I want to be perfect either.
3. What is your biggest beauty tip?
Along with having a good skincare regime, never go anywhere without a little lip color! Lipstick or lipgloss is the easiest beauty enhancement and instantly amps up any look.
4. What made you decide to go green?
I have a degree in Environmental Studies and have always been passionate about the environment and sustainability so going green was not a new thing in my life, but I never thought much about how beauty and skincare could fit into this.
I have sensitive skin, but when I started using some beauty products that really irritated my face, I became really curious about the ingredients in my products. I started researching and paying more attention to harmful chemicals and interacting with the green beauty community.
I loved how helpful and friendly everyone within the community was and found lots of effective and healthy green beauty/skincare alternatives that I never looked back.
5. What has been the hardest part about making the switch?
Ok, I’ll be blunt here: instant gratification! Haha. Not being able to walk down the street and instantly buy products that are truly healthy and safe kills me every time. I’m very much a visual person and I’ll always miss the ability to physically see and test out products in a brick and mortar store.
I hate shopping online but I’ve learned to be patient and do extensive research about products before purchasing. There are many local green beauty stores and brands popping up nowadays in various cities, which has improved the situation but let’s hope for more!
6. What have you learned through the process?
To always do my own research about ingredients and really know what is in my products. I do not take anything for face value anymore. I feel empowered from learning more about the beauty industry, greenwashing, product sourcing, and the chemistry behind beauty and skincare products.
7. What are some of your favorite green beauty finds?
Pigmented, organic lipsticks from ILIA Beauty, high performing blush, concealer, lip colors from RMS Beauty, awesome skincare products from One Love Organics, Pai Skincare, Osmia Organics, and May Lindstrom.
8. What was the hardest product to replace?
For me, it is definitely shampoo and conditioner. I’ve found some good replacements but my fine and grease-prone hair still reacts a bit abnormally to organic/natural hair products. My hair is still transitioning to a more natural routine.
9. How has this journey changed your overall health?
My skin has never felt or looked better but most importantly, I think switching to green beauty has helped me focus more on the importance of feeling beautiful and happy in my own skin. Makeup is fun for me but I also love not wearing anything at all and feeling good about my natural features.
10. How would you recommend getting started to non-toxic newbies?
If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have been so drastic. You don’t necessary have to throw out every unhealthy product you have right away, you can transition to greener products by slowly starting with larger things like body wash or shampoo to switch out. Gradually move on to other things like makeup and fragrance when you’re finishing up old products. Research and read up on ingredients, company missions, and product sourcing. Really understand and gain knowledge about the topic you’re delving into.
11. What is your favorite ingredient?
That is a tough question. Ingredients fascinate me and that’s why I have regular posts highlighting common or ones “to know”. (You can check out Plein Vanity’s informative “Au Natural Factual” series.) I really love lavender for it’s soothing properties, lovely scent, and calming effects.
12. What is a quote you live by?
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
-Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
13. If you could only leave the house with one product, what would it be?
ILIA Beauty Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Knights
14. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Hopefully still blogging and writing, and doing something that I am passionate about.
15. What is one piece of advice you’d tell your 13-year old self?
I’d tell myself to not be so self-conscious and that following my passions will pay off. I’d remind myself to embrace my skills and talents and not worry about what other people say.
16. If you were able to read minds, would you? Why or why not?
No thanks! I think I still concern myself with what others think so I wouldn’t want to know their true thoughts all the time. That would stress me out even more!
17. What is the last thing you Googled?
New novels that I want to read. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
18. What is the most difficult part about blogging?
For me, it’s definitely photography. Writing comes easily to me but I’m pretty bad at documenting everything (and beautifully) in the moment, and sometimes I forget to take photos of things I should have. Photo editing keeps me up at night because I’m a perfectionist and I won’t publish a blog post if I hate the way the photos look. I also think being “connected” all the time is difficult for me. Sometimes I just like to step away from social media, my computer, and the internet and live my life sans technology. As a blogger, there’s a lot of pressure to always be “on” and updating things and I’m always feeling stressed about that.
19. What is your favorite part about it?
I love writing, it’s always been a passion.
I love that blogging allows me to share my writing with the world and that I can spread awareness and knowledge.
I also love the green beauty community and all the wonderful people I’ve met in real life and virtually. The support and camaraderie is amazing!
20. How do you stay positive?
Faith in God, spending time with my family, and reminding myself of every blessing I’ve been given and how there is so much more I’m meant to do and so many more people I can help.