You’re a leader who cares and there’s a lot happening in this country. But what do you do? You’re a voter. You’re a taxpayer. You’re a hard worker, a believer in seeing the best and finding the good.
Yet you’re not going to protest or march for a variety of reasons like we’re in the middle of a pandemic (for one). Protests that normally start peacefully don’t always remain that way.
But you know you’ve gotta do something, more than what you’re doing. And it feels overwhelming with so many non-profits, good causes, petitions to sign, and phone calls to make… I felt the same way.
Until I thought about it and thought about it.
I buy a lot of stuff. I reckon you do, and I thought what if I went through every household item from laundry detergent to shower gel to trash bags and toilet paper… and researched alternative options.
Please note—my number one value when purchasing any product for bath, body, beauty or home is toxicity. The less harmful chemicals the better, and choosing quality (this isn’t necessarily a popular name brand– it’s toxic free brands) over quantity every damn time.
Other values include locally made, in this country, by a small business, woman owned, preferably black.
So without further ado, here are my list:
Way #1 CHANGE YOUR BODY WASH: You know that feeling after you’ve had a facial? That detailed clean scrub feeling… where all the dirt, dust, and mire (that you thought got removed with your daily face washes and makeup removals) are gone. Well, this is how your entire body will feel. You’ll be obsessed with this charcoal lavender body wash. I use it everyday, and my body sings with utter delight, because it gets me clean clean. Plus, no harmful chemicals, and unnecessary additives.
Way #2 CHANGE YOUR MOUTHWASH: “Melodee, what do you use on your teeth? They’re so white and look so good” my Grandma asked me at Christmas brunch yesterday. “I use this tooth powder with charcoal in it, and this antibacterial mouthwash” I said and she asked me where she could get it. I told her I’d order some for her, because trying to explain to my 85 year old Grandma how to order on the internet (when she barely gets the hang of FaceTime and calls it Facebook) is a challenge in itself. Ha!
But if you’re reading this you’re probably tech savvy, so if you’re ready to amp up your teeth cleanliness game start here. It goes really well with the natural mouthwash, and I recommend the reduced strength (it was stronger than expected for the first few takes, then I got used to it, I can’t imagine anything stronger than reduced). You can grab that too here.
Way #3 CHANGE YOUR HANDSOAP: We were washing our hands consistently before the pandemic, and more so even now. You can get a really good organic hand soap here.
Way #4 CHANGE YOUR SANITIZER: Do you know what sucks about sanitizer, besides the fact that people are buying it like it’s air? It dries out your hands like nobody’s business, unless you have this one. Anytime I squirt some in the hands of my friends or family, I’m always met with “oh this feels so good, where did you buy this from?” It’s organic hand sanitizer with moisturizer baked in it.
Way #5 CHANGE YOUR MOISTURIZER: Let’s be clear, body butter is better than lotion. It moisturizes deeper, and lasts longer (than the mostly alcohol-filled-lasts-for-less-than-120-seconds pump of lotion). My absolute favorite body butter of all time (and I’ve tried many, most of which were good) is Lemongrass & Coconut by Butter Depot and this one in almond by E&C Nourished.
Honorable mentions: Cupcake by Natural By Nai smells so delicious, it makes me want to eat it every time I smell it. It’s a bit lighter in texture than the other two, and still lovely.
Way #6 CHANGE YOUR FACE SCRUB: I don’t drink alcohol at all, and I will throw this champagne scrub on my face any day of the week. Tell me you won’t feel like a new woman after using this treat. I can’t believe she sells it for this price, I’ve been to five star spa experiences that used scrubs that were NOWHERE CLOSE to the quality that this scrub provides.
Way #7 CHANGE YOUR SUNSCREEN: I’m not gonna lie… I had a very casual-non-committal relationship with sunscreen as a kid, because like nude stockings — it never seemed to set right with my complexion (I know I wasn’t the only one with those white streaky marks!). Now as an adult, I get the importance and luckily, there are more options. Here’s the only SPF30 that I use.
Way #8 CHANGE YOUR LAUNDRY DETERGENT: Who wants to drive to the grocery store, park, go into a (usually unorganized) store, grab your items after perusing through the disorganized items (who can guess my pet peeve when shopping?!), check out with a (usually unhappy) cashier–just kidding! self checkout is the real MVP (unless you’re behind someone who didn’t read the 10 items or less sign..grrh), pack your items in your car, drive back home, attempt to take all your bags (because you bought more than detergent, duh!) in one trip to the door? No one in their right mind wants to do that unless they find time at the store therapeutic. You’re already familiar with online shopping, but we forget things like LAUNDRY DETERGENT that can be delivered directly to your door too.
And what I love most about this laundry detergent is that it’s plant based, safe for sensitive skin (ever used a detergent that caused you to break out in a rash? Meee and it’s not fun!), biodegradable, non-toxic and phosphorus-free. Highly recommend the laundry detergent and fabric softener in lavender scent, and you can get yours here.
Way #9 CHANGE YOUR EARRINGS: I don’t know how I found this incredibly creative woman, but I’m obsessed with her work. So much so that I bought 3 pairs of earrings the first time, and 9 pairs the second time! (If you look closely, you’ll see some of them in my photos.) If you like french vintage glam with occasional pops of color The Noire Collection will compliment your personal collection exquisitely.
WAY #10 CHANGE YOUR RINGS: Have you stopped wearing makeup as much, because of these damn masks? Me too. Listen. I’m not putting in the work to put on makeup, only to sweat if off without anyone including myself seeing and enjoying it? Absolutely not. So I’ve been exploring more things that can be worn regardless of mask? Earrings and you guessed it, RINGS. These by EshJewelry Collection are really fun and they’re adjustable meaning you don’t have to know your ring size (anybody else forgets theirs? No, just me?).
WAY #11 CHANGE YOUR MAKEUP: I know, I know, we aren’t wearing makeup right?! Well I’m not, except for photoshoots really. However, I will wear lipgloss and lipstick on occasion and this is my favorite brand for low-key, simple and natural everyday wear.
Honorable mentions: Recently, when I requested a red lip, my makeup artist, Nykema, used the color “Bawse Lady” by this sold in I-don’t-know-how-many-Targets-and-worn-by-the-former-first-lady-herself hot AF brand.
WAY #12 CHANGE YOUR WATER: Until I find a water filtration system that meets my standards, I’m really happy with this bottled water company. You can order directly from their website here or if you have an H-E-B nearby you can order the Eleven86 Artesian Water there.
Way #13 CHANGE YOUR TOILET PAPER: So what’s the other item folks have been hoarding besides sanitizer? Toilet paper. After searching for alternative options that were in alignment with my values this popped up in my Google search. I’d never tried bamboo toilet paper before and didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. It felt smoother on my skin and I used less of it. However, when I initially ordered the size of the roll was rather small, but the company has grown and made it a regular size since that time.
Way #14 CHANGE YOUR SWEATSHIRT: What’s the high-fashion theme of this year (and likely beyond)? Comfy and Cozy. And it was love at first sight, when I saw this cute sweatshirt and this one and ordered almost immediately (she has a no refunds policy and so I ordered 1 sweatshirt first to see if I liked it). It was a delight to find the quality of the sweatshirt better than any I’ve ordered in the past and the ink lettering was well done. (FYI: I’m super particular about lettering on t-shirts and sweatshirts, nothing worse than it coming off or looking faded after 1 or 2 washes).
Honorable mentions: One of my favorite sweatshirts which sadly I no longer own (I did a closet clean out at the beginning of the pandemic and gave it away, because my style had changed from black to white sweats). If I had known Chadwick wasn’t going to be here much longer, probably would’ve kept it) said “Wakanda Forever” in gold lettering on black by this incredible creative.
at a farm in northern France (back when international travel was a thing).
Way #15 CHANGE YOUR MIND: Yes, you need a mental health professional. I don’t care if you had a pollyanna perfect childhood, or a flat out shitty one. I don’t care if you’re religious or an atheist. I don’t care if you drink more red or blue kool aid politically. You need a therapist and a life coach. My favorite resource for therapists is here, and I highly recommend this life coach right here.
Thank you for taking your time to read this blogpost and checking out some of my favorite products that I use daily in my own home and life! If you decide to purchase a product, I’d love to know how much you enjoy it (tag me on Instagram @melodeeforbes to lemme know).
Did you find this post helpful? Was there a brand you didn’t know about that you’re now excited to try out, or a brand I missed that you would’ve liked to see featured? Please let me know! I’m always on the hunt for exceptional products by small businesses (preferably women & black owned)! Let’s help each other out and leave a comment below!