Natural Beauty with Elly Mayday

Source: Forever Yours Lingere

Two years ago, model and social media personality Elly Mayday moved from her hometown of Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, to pursue dreams of traveling the world. She was on the verge of a successful modeling career when a diagnosis of stage-three ovarian cancer and subsequent treatments changed everything.

Mayday experienced many physical and emotional challenges, but she was able to use her illness as a platform to speak about the power of natural beauty and self-acceptance all over the world.

I wanted to show you can be beautiful when you are going through hell…” Mayday says on her website, “I worked really hard on all my shoots because I knew I was doing something that would help others facing cancer as well.”  

Mayday’s determination to embody self-confidence and body-positivity even during the throes of chemotherapy catapulted her into international fame. Since then, she has been featured on Good Morning America, in Women’s Weekly Australia, in documentary-film “A Perfect 14,” and has modeled for Lane Bryant’s “I’m no Angel” campaign.

One unexpected thing that had to change during her treatment, says Mayday, was her beauty routine.

Source: Elly Mayday Official Website

I had liked to do my hair,” she says, ”but when I lost it, I had my wigs… I stopped getting my nails done, [because] I would get sick from all the fumes involved in the process and couldn’t keep them on if I had an operation.”

Mayday’s heightened sensitivity to smells and chemicals found in everyday cosmetics led her to seek out natural alternatives for her favourite beauty products. “I started to do a bit of research and realized there were so many unpronounceable ingredients in something as simple as makeup remover,” she says, “I have some close friends in the all-natural, clean-eating world and knew going that route would be better for me.”

According to a research survey conducted by the David Suzuki Association, 80% of beauty products possessed by participants contained at least one of twelve “dirty dozen” ingredients shown to have potentially harmful effects on the body. For some individuals, exposure to these ingredients can cause very serious health problems.

Consumers are advised by health experts to read cosmetic labels and steer clear of toxic ingredients (such as BHA, PEGs, parabens, parfum, petrolatum, sulfates and triclosan) that can be found lurking in many common cosmetic  and beauty products.

For those wishing to try natural alternatives, Elly recommends her following top five favourite all-natural beauty items:

1. Coconut Oil.

I use this for my makeup remover and moisturizer. I like it because it’s available everywhere, travels easily and you can pre-soak cotton swabs for when you’re  on-the-go.”

2. Aluminum-free Deodorant.

“I use Green Beaver Natural Deodorant.”

3. Lia Reese Lipsticks. 

“These are allergy-tested, hypoallergenic, not tested on animals and fragrance free. They have great pigment and last all day, plus have a subtle scent of vanilla. There are a ton of options for colors and I like to support Canadian-owned companies.”

4. Taproot Organics Cocoa Face Bar. 

“I use this as my face wash. If I’ve forgotten my coconut oil, I have no problem getting my makeup off just using this. It lathers well and gets the job done, and it’s mainly made out of oils that don’t dry my skin out afterwards like a regular bar soap. “

5. Activated Charcoal.

“I use this for a face mask as well as teeth whitener.”

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Beauty Review: The Dew Puff

Everyone wants clear, healthy, radiant skin, especially in summer. Removing dull and flaky skin before and after sun exposure is the key to achieving a flawless summer tan. In an effort to achieve perfect glowing summer skin, a few Novella team members were introduced to the Dew Puff Konjac Sponge. Dew Puff sponges are a modern version of one of the oldest and most traditional beauty tools in the world used for hundreds of years in Asia. What makes these sponges unique are the ingredients, or, in this case, the lack thereof. Dew Puff sponges are 100% plant based cleansing tools with only one ingredient — konjac root. When dry, these sponges are hard and rough to touch, but once they are wet, these natural sponges become exceptionally soft, gentle, and exfoliating. The goal of the Dew Puff is to create a perfect pH balance on the skin and to help brighten and even skin tone. Simply get it wet and you can use the sponge to gently exfoliate your face and body using circular motions with or without a cleanser. Dew Puff natural sponges are available in three varieties: Original, Asian Clay, and Bamboo Charcoal.

DEW PUFF ORIGINAL — KIMBERLEY

Listen, I can’t complain. I have been pretty lucky with my skin (with the exception of  few awkward years in elementary school) as someone who isn’t prone to breakouts except for the few stray pimples I have experienced throughout my life. When Claire, our resident beauty expert and skincare reviewing queen, mentioned making a joint article and having three members of our team each review a Dew Puff, I thought, why not?

Although I am not one with a wide range of knowledge on tips and tricks for skincare — or really someone who does much to their skin at all except wash it each night with Neutrogena Naturals and moisturize —, I am a sucker for trying out new skincare additives. Once a week, my boo and I will wear a generic, 15 minute face mask for an extra bit of shine or deep clean. It’s sort of a nice ritual.

I felt confident about my skincare routine and loved to give advice to acne prone friends suggesting that they drink more water. I drink around 3L a day and I haven’t had a pimple in months. I soon realized that I was sort of an asshole for this. That not all people are accustomed to the same sort of luxury that I have. Twitter verified this.

I was given the Dew Puff Original Konjac Sponge for testing. We decided on a two week trial then we’d each report back with our findings. Upon first opening the package and holding the sponge in my hand, it felt very hard and gritty. I ran it under water and it came to life, turning into my very own fluffy little cloud. I soon felt how soft the little sponge was and used it (without any other cleansing agents) to wash off any excess oils or dirt on my face.

The next morning when I woke up, I noticed that my skin was really soft and my pores were noticeably smaller. It’s amazing what this little sponge can do. I continued to use it for the rest of the week with my cleanser — and sometimes without — and while I didn’t notice a huge change to the look of my skin, it helped keep it smooth and clear. The teardrop design of the sponge is really comfortable to hold (sort of like a beauty blender), and it became a part of my routine when washing my makeup off at the end of the day. Instead of rubbing in my cleanser myself, I would use the sponge and enjoy a nice little facial from its soft surface.

Overall, I didn’t turn into Angelina Jolie, but I did notice how smooth and clear my skin became and remained, and for that I’m grateful.

DEW PUFF ASIAN CLAY — CLAIRE

My skin has come a long way, to say the least and, lately, I have reached a point where I am finally confident and comfortable with my skincare routine. The key is learning about what type of skin you have and knowing how it behaves. I could definitely learn from Kimberly’s 3L of water a day rule, but in the meantime, I try to gulp down the expected 8 glasses a day and hope for the best. I suffer from dull, dry, and uneven skin. So, when I chose to do the Dew Puff review, it made the most sense for me to try the Asian Clay Dew Puff, which is designed for dry or aging skin.

My first time using the Dew Puff sponge was in the evening as a part of my nighttime cleansing routine. I decided I would use the sponge hand-in-hand with my cleanser just to keep some consistency with my usual routine. Immediately after using the sponge I noticed my skin felt smooth and clean. The next morning, my skin looked fresh and smooth. Throughout the two weeks, similar to Kimberly, I continued to use the sponge with and without cleanser. It is gentle enough that I never felt like I was over exfoliating my skin. Even though I have dry skin, I am still prone to breakouts. While using the Dew Puff I noticed my skin remained fairly under control, which was nice, and I feel like it may have helped specifically with the blackheads on my nose.

All in all, I don’t feel more or less confident about my skin, but I did notice a consistently smoother texture while using it. It’s definitely worth trying if you’re trying to stay away from chemicals and use natural skincare.

DEW PUFF BAMBOO CHARACOAL — Adina

If there’s a skin problem lottery, then I have won it. I’ve suffered from pretty terrible eczema since I was very little. It was supposed to go away when I turned 12 or 13, according to the conventional wisdom of my family members who also had childhood eczema, but much like Senator Elizabeth Warren, it persisted. Typically, it results in some scattered, manageable rashes around my skin, but every now and again I get these terrible, itchy, dry, red, gross flare ups.

And as if that weren’t enough, I also have acne. And not like a teeny pimple every once in a while, but all around my face and neck and body. And yes, I drink water and wash my face, but thanks for assuming I’m a heathen.

Anyway, because of my combination skin I’ve learned to be pretty skeptical of most products that offer “natural” solutions to your skin woes or tell you that you don’t need strong chemicals to keep your acne at bay. If it sounds like something that Gwyneth Paltrow would tell you to spend $70 on, it’s probably not worth your time. Still, when I was offered to use the “blemished” skin Dew Puff with Bamboo and Charcoal, I figured getting something for free and testing it out couldn’t hurt.

That being said, I was a bit surprised with the results of the Dew Puff. No, it didn’t get rid of my acne (if only!), but I did notice a reduction in breakouts, and it left my face feeling a little smoother. Plus, it actually felt really nice using it. Normally washing my face means getting kind of vigorous and it leaves my face feeling dry, but I liked the way my skin felt after using the Dew Puff.

So will this cure your skincare woes? No, not really. But does it feel nice and make your skin a little softer and ease the dryness that comes with most acne treatments? You bet your goop it does.

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