Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arbonizing My Life



Eeek it has been a long time since I have written a blog post and I have so much to share!  One of the most exciting changes in my life has been the start up of a home based business with Arbonne, a health and wellness company.  Here's a little about my journey:

When I share with people what I have decided to do, I am generally met with a few different answers - A. What is Arbonne? B. Sounds like a pyramid scheme or C. I love Arbonne!  It has totally changed my life!  I will be the first to admit that when a co-worker approached me about talking to his wife about Arbonne my response was a mixture of A and B.  The next day, I went home with a little orange bag of products to try for a week and a coffee date that weekend to discuss how I liked them.  I was scared to death to try the products.  

Now, my story will make a lot more sense with a little more background information about me.  I have CRAZY oily skin, meaning my face will look like an oil slick by midday.  I also have some serious stress induced acne and some scarring and discoloration.  My hair is naturally frizz prone and curly.  Because of my - ahem - difficult complexion and hair, I have become a self-proclaimed product junkie, researching the best products to battle oily skin, acne prone skin, frizzy hair, and so on, then trying product after product from Sephora and salons, hoping that SOMETHING would finally work the way I want it to.  I also truly thought that I was using the best products that I could be using - Murad, Bumble and Bumble, Sachajuan, YSL, Dior, Hourglass... I honestly was scared to try Arbonne because I didn't want to rock the boat and end up with worse looking skin or hair than I started with.

So that night I went home and looked at the numerous products in the RE9 Advanced kit.  At first I was a bit overwhelmed with figuring out the order I needed to use the products in and my anxiety heightened when I tried the cleanser.  It felt gentle and soothing - not astringent like the other oil control and acne products I had used for so long.  I followed the steps and I was surprised how great my skin felt when I was done.  I went online and do a little research to see what I was putting on my face and again, I was a little frightened to discover that the product was formulated for anti-aging.  I immediately thought I was using products geared more toward my mom's age group, but the way my face felt clean and hydrated kept me trying the products.  Several days into using the products, my husband noticed a difference the clarity of my face and I started taking my makeup off and washing my face right away when I came home because I looked forward to using the products.

That weekend I grabbed my checkbook in preparation for my meeting with Jody, my co-workers wife who introduced me to the products, ready to purchase the entire line that I fell in love with.  When I got there, she shared an even bigger gift with me - the knowledge of what I am putting on my body and the opportunity that Arbonne offers.

Jody started the conversation by talking a little bit about Arbonne as a company.  While the thirty-year-old Arbonne company has Swiss heritage, the products are made in the United States using the best combination of botanical ingredients and science.  I was interested to learn that Arbonne adheres to the European cosmetic and beauty standards.  In European nations, over 1300 products are banned or restricted for usage in cosmetics, including mineral oil and animal by-products.  That number in the United States is... can you guess?  Only 11!  Read more about European cosmetic restrictions.

As a person that tries to be conscious about the products I use and how they impact both the environment and myself, I did not think that I could find products that were health friendly, environmentally friendly, and give me the results I was looking for.  I was wrong.  I definitely was thinking more about how I looked with my makeup on than the effects my daily regimen was having on my body with the attitude, "It's just on my skin, it can't be THAT bad."  Wrong.  Think of birth control, nicotine, and chemotherapy patches.  Our skin is the largest membrane in our body and sixty percent of what we put on top leeches in within 26 seconds.  Umm... I think I would rather not slather on french fry grease and boiled down dead animals. 

To read more about what we put on our skin and the latent effects, there is TONS of information on the internet.  I suggest googling "rendering and cosmetics," or "VOCs in cosmetics."  You will find a lot of information, granted some more credible than others.  Read about the 515 chemicals you're putting on your body every day.

Please excuse the Photoshopped image.  Photo credit Daily Mail Online.

So, clearly Arbonne's products are great, but their opportunity is greater.  Jody shared with me the success that she had with Arbonne to reach financial freedom quickly.  As a super busy teacher, learning that all I had to do was place amazing products in the hands of my friends to earn a little extra income was FANTASTIC.  What I didn't expect, however, was to see how Arbonne truly changes the lives of others.  By sharing Arbonne, individuals that need financial freedom and time at home have reached their goal, while others, including myself, have become more comfortable in their skin.  Before, I was using an increasingly large number of products to try to battle the damage that I was doing to my skin by using those products themselves.  To reach a point where my skin, hair, and body naturally look healthier and feels better and I can wear less makeup? That is priceless.  I am also very proud of the personal growth I have achieved with Arbonne.  As a shy individual, talking to others has not always been easy for me.  Arbonne has given me a topic and way to help others improve their lives as well.

If you are interested in learning more about Arbonne's story or checking out their products, please visit their website at www.arbonne.com

If you are interested in more information about trying the products or the business aspect, please contact me!

To check out a product review of the RE9 Advanced skincare line written by my beautiful friend Cassie, please visit her blog cassandramonroe.com

Below are pictures of my Arbonne skin care journey.  While the difference may be hard for strangers to see, I can definitely tell and feel a difference.

Before using the Arbonne RE9 Advanced skin care set.  I was Murad skincare and  Dior primer and Hourglass foundation for makeup.  You can DEFINITELY see how much makeup I was putting on to cover skin damage. 
Excuse the silly picture.  I took this approximately two weeks after I started using the RE9 Advanced skin care.  I also used the Arbonne foundation mixed with my Arbonne daily moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer.  Hurray!  My skin looked clearer and healthier at this point that I was able to wear less makeup! 

And... I took this picture after using Arbonne for about two and a half months.  No foundation or tinted moisturizer here!

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