Environmental Consciousness Extends to Makeup Brushes

America’s consciousness about environmental issues has gained tremendous momentum over the past several years. Evidence of global warming and scientific discoveries about the impact of greenhouses gasses on everything from the melting of the polar icecaps to the extinction of animal and plant species has spurred the U.S. and countries around the world to take action. The importance of research into lessening our dependence on fossil fuels and moving to alternative energy sources has been front-page news and is the subject of contentious political debates. In the meantime, many consumers have taken matters into their own hands by taking steps to reduce their carbon footprints and generally increasing their awareness of the impact humans have on our environment.


Animal Rights

Long before environmental issues became popular with the mainstream, however, animal rights activists sounded the alarm about routine practices that harm wildlife and farmed animals. The rise in popularity of faux fur, for example, was a direct result of efforts to educate the public about the cruelty of harvesting animals for their pelts. Similarly, animal rights groups shone the light on the practices of many cosmetics companies that routinely tested makeup on animals and caused untold anguish and pain.


Cruelty Free Makeup Brushes

Although women are increasingly aware of animal testing methods and choose to support cosmetics companies that are committed to cruelty free and animal free testing, women are often less educated about makeup brushes. The animal hair that forms the bristles of many makeup brushes is often purchased from the same suppliers that engage in cruel fur harvesting practices. In fact, all but about a dozen companies in the U.S. have animal hair makeup brushes in their lines.


Technology and Taklon

This fact is perplexing not only because the support of cruelty free products continues to grow, but also because technology is now so advanced that synthetic and natural fiber makeup brushes are superior to animal hair brushes in both functionality and durability. For example, Taklon is a synthetic fiber that is far superior to animal hair in makeup brushes. With animal hair, makeup, dead skin cells, and other contaminants can easily get caught in the cuticles of the animal hair, allowing bacteria to grow and making the brushes unsanitary. Taklon, on the other hand, doesn’t have a hair cuticle and has antibacterial properties, making it much better for the skin.


In addition to its antibacterial properties, Taklon is superior to animal hair makeup brushes because of its versatility. Again, the cuticles in animal hair cause streaking when makeup brushes are used for creams or liquids. In contrast, Taklon can be created in textures ranging from extremely soft to very coarse, making it perfect for the application of powders, creams, and liquids.


Synthetic Brushes for Everyone

You don’t have to be a vegan to buy cruelty free cosmetics and makeup brushes. As awareness of all environmental issues – from global warming to animal cruelty – increases, conscious consumers will increasingly choose to purchase products that reflect a solid commitment to preserving our planet and its species.


Realtree beauty products are not tested on animals, either! Check out our products, here!

Why We Were Never Meant to Eat Grains

Variety of fresh vegetables on display in grocery store

Contrary to popular belief, humans were never meant to eat grains. Let’s take a little peek back at our origins to see why we were never meant to eat grains.

Back in the Stone Age, our ancestors were already built like today’s humans. They were hunter-gatherers, subsisting on fruit, vegetables, and meat. Back then, our ancestors knew that grains such as wheat and potatoes were inedible in their raw state, and steered clear of them completely.

Here’s why — most grains have elements the scientific world calls “anti-nutrients.” These are the elements that prevent animals such as birds, herbivores, and humans form eating them. Doing so would trigger unsavory reactions in the body chemistry, making us sick.

But then our ancestors discovered agriculture. They learned that cooking grains negated most of the toxins, rendering them safe enough to eat. But while human civilization progressed undeniably since then, it has been found that as humans switched to a grain-based diet; they became shorter, frailer, and more prone to sickness and plague than ever before.

The Industrial Revolution worsened things. As food became more mass-produced, people began eating more and more processed and refined grains. And just recently, after the Food Guide Pyramid was established promoting 6-11 servings of grains a day, obesity and heart disease rates began soaring uncontrollably.

Research after research has shown that grains really don’t have a place in our diet. While it’s safe enough to enjoy a bowl of pasta or a slice of toast or a baked potato

every now and then, grains were never meant to form the foundation of our diet. As time passed we’ve grown more aware of the Do’s and Dont’s of our eating habits and revisited the diets our ancestors thrived on — organically-grown fruit, vegetables, and meat for a more healthy diet and lifestyle.

Which Skin Care Body Lotion To Choose?

How do you know if the weather like snow and cold winds have done damage to your skin? One of them is when you are feeling itchy all over your body. Your skin may or may not be affected negatively by the outdoor elements.


Harsh winds and cold temperatures can dry out your skin quickly. This can leave your skin cracked, rough, and itchy. Your hands can especially dry out quickly because they are, often, the part of your body that is most exposed during the colder seasons. Using a moisturizer on a daily basis will help correct dryness and keep skin soft. However, this only works if you are drinking enough water because lotions do not restore moisture, it only helps retain it. Plus, not all lotions are equally effective.


There are so many types of skin care body lotion in the market, so how do you know which one will be good for your skin in order to maintain its moisture?


Having said that, you are not going to have problem getting a skin care body lotion because it is easily available. It tells us that there are so many of us who are suffering from dry skin.


What will you do when your skin is dry and itchy? Scratching is your answer, right? Does it help? No. Why? This is because dry skin occurs deeper than the top layer.


Since it is not just the top layer of skin, a couple of applications will not be sufficient. At times, you may only see the result after more than a week, providing you apply the right body lotion and drink lots of water to help in the process.


Another point to take note of is not all skin care body lotion will work. It all depends on your skin type because skin does not produce sufficient moisture for the whole year. Therefore it is important to preserve our skin’s moisture by applying at least twice a day.


The frequency of applying body lotion varies due to the different types of skin that we have. Different products are targeting different deficiencies in your body, like vitamins and some even contain firming effects for your thighs or hips.


To help keep your body soft all year round, make sure you are drinking at least the standard 6 to 8 cups of water each day. This helps keep moisture in your skin, which increases the effectiveness of body lotion. When using body lotion, make sure everything from the ingredients to the scent is right for you.


Make sure to check out our line of body lotion and skincare products that come in both scents For Him and For Her!

Beauty Does Not Get Any Easier Than This

You don’t have to be incredibly strict with beauty to fully embrace it. Creating your look should be fun and inventive! It doesn’t need to be strict and regimented.


No matter what your skin looks and feels like, it is important to wash your face at least once a day. Regardless of your personal beauty regimen, make a habit of always completely removing all your makeup prior to cleaning your face. If you don’t properly clean your face, it can cause clogged pores and often acne.


If you’re stuck on what colors to use for eye shadow and lip color, look to your hair! Your hair color can actually have a great influence on what colors will compliment you best. If you are a brunette, try using a dark mahogany eye shadow as a multipurpose tool. This color can be used to fill in your eyebrows, line your upper lashes, and even work to help cover gray roots in your hairline.


Like mentioned above, it is important to wash your face at least once a day. Before going to bed for the night, part of your routine should be removing the day’s makeup. Gently scrub your face with a warm washcloth with your favorite cleanser. This step is important to keep pores clean and prevent breakouts.


Substitute aloe gel for expensive moisturizers, witch hazel for costly toners and pure castile soap with a clean cloth for those high priced cleansers. When you use organic, natural items, your skin will brighten up instantly. If you need even more moisture, add some vitamin E.


To improve your lip color application, always apply lip balm first. The balm will keep your lips soft and moisturized allowing your lip color to go on smoothly. To keep your lipstick or gloss color pure, try using a basic, untinted lip balm.


Beauty tip for tired eyes! Eye gel will help reduce the appearance of puffy or tired eyes. Keep this in the refrigerator, and use it for an extra boost if you are really tired. You can feel very tired without having to show it on your face. Just make sure to use the gel on a clean face. Another option is to leave a spoon in the freezer overnight and use that as a cold compress on under eye bags.


Put your vegetables on your skin. Vegetables have many health benefits when you eat them, and several more when used as a beauty treatment. Try cool cucumbers or sliced potato on your eyes to relieve puffiness and redness. Use water left from boiling cabbage, broccoli, or kale for a healthy skin toner.


Choose your eye shadow based on your eye color to make your eye makeup really pop. If your eyes are blue, shades of brown are the most flattering. For brown eyes, try purple shadows like lavender or plum. If your eyes are green, golden shades are very flattering, as are many shades from the brown family.


Avoiding piling on foundation is a great tip in looking more well rested. Try using a tinted moisturizer instead and then apply a beige eye pencil, this will counteract the redness around the eyes and leave you looking refreshed and ready for the day.


By using a pressed powder as an eye shadow base before applying the color you can avoid your shadow from creasing during the day. It helps absorb any oils on the eyelids.


Beauty is more than precision-based. If it weren’t, then only professionals could buy and use the products. Hopefully these tips have opened your eyes to the wonders of beauty and the small tips and tricks you can use to perfect your look. So get out there and start practicing!


If you’re looking for a way to incorporate your favorite fragrance into your beauty routine, look for the scent in a lotion or body wash! At Realtree Beauty, we offer both our scents For Her and For Him in lotions, body washes, shampoos, and more!

Hiking Clubs: Great Way To Meet Hiking Companions

If you are a beginner interested in hiking there is no better way to start than to join a club. Not only will you learn from other people’s experience but you will learn about the best sites locally and you will meet people who would share several tips you wouldn’t know otherwise. You may also develop new hiking companions. This is particularly useful for a person new in town or stay at home moms.

Selecting a hiking club is a personal decision because they all have their individual traits. Some hiking groups are casual and laidback others are more adventurous and aggressive. Some may cater to older members while others may be for the youth. Look around to see which fits you best. Below is a listing of a few clubs around the United Staes.

Alabama Hiking Trails Society

Located around Mobile to Huntsville, it is dedicated to protecting, promoting, developing, and maintaining a state wide hiking trail system. One bonus of joining this hiking club is that every activity you participate in is covered in the group liability insurance policy.

Fairbanks (Alaska) Area Hiking Club

This club is for Alaska residents. The members ski, snowshoe, and walk through all sorts of areas including the Denali National Park, White Mountains, Arctic National Wildlife Refuges, or ANWR, and along the Tanan and Chena Rivers and amongst others.

Off of the Beaten Trail

In summer of 2002 Loree and Ward began a hiking club for a group of singles who lived in Phoenix Arizona. Now the club has grown to more than three hundred members. Although it is a comprised of singles, you can separate the social from the hiking and pick and choose what events you want to participate in.

Trail Blazers Hiking Club

If you are near the Ouachita and Ozarkmountains of West Arkansas or Eastern Okalahoma you can join the Trail Blazers Hiking club. The club offers a range of hiking events, some short and some long, some difficult and others more laid back. There are hikes most weekends from the fall to the spring. You can see a listing of events on their website and decide what may be of interest to you.

Desert Trail Hiking Club

This hiking club has three levels of hiking activities available from easy to moderate to strenuous. They also offer up to five hikes every week. The group hikes in Coachella Valley and enjoys a friendly camaraderie among its members.

To find a hiking club near you, do a search on the internet or inquire at your local sporting goods store that sells hiking equipment. Joining a hiking club is a great way to meet hiking companions and have the opportunity to hike places you may not be able to do on your own.

Discover the scent of the outdoors – Realtree Fragrance

The Time For A Fire Pit Is Now

Source: Flickr

Summer is just about done. One great thing about the late summer nights is that you can enjoy a fire pit, sometimes to warm you up and sometimes to serve as a romantic feature on your outdoor menu.

You should make sure that it is safe and permitted to burn wood in your living area and get yourself a nice fire pit, get some wood and it is almost as simple as that, you just need to find the right distance from where you and your friends are sitting and you could spend all night outside by a burning fire.

If you want to upgrade your outdoor experience, you can always look for a fire pit that has the option of serving as a cooking device, these are not very expensive and sometimes can be a real treat, you can cook all those classic outdoor things while you relax outdoors, the barbeque fire pit is something that you can also use for more serious cooking, it is in fact one of the most traditional and oldest way to cook, so you can even roast a small pig on a decent barbeque fire pit.

The benefits of getting a fire pit are numerous, you can enjoy a nice natural fire outdoor, as the months pass you could also enjoy your backyard in September and October, the only thing is that you will probably have to bring the fire pit a little closer to you, and you will probably have to get more wood to keep it going, but once you got a working fire pit by your side the chances you will be cold are low.

The fire pit provides a nice light in the night, this fire has a very good effect on socializing and having friends over for the evening, you will be surprised at the quality of interaction a nice fire brings out, it is just like those fascinating talks you used to have by the fire place, many years ago.

A fire pit can serve as an addition to a patio, it is a wonderful special thing you can add for parties and family dinners, and with a relatively low cost and low maintenance a patio fire pit is something that can only upgrade you patio.

You can also make your own fire pit, it is not complicated and you can find the basic materials in every do it yourself shop, the advantage of making your own fire pit is that you can tailor make it to fit your garden or backyard and of course serve your particular needs, some families enjoy planning and making the fire pit together, making this a family task, and afterwards everyone feels he has contributed to the new fire pit in the garden.

A fire pit is really plain fun, there is nothing expensive or complicated about it, it will warm you in cool summer nights, and cook nice meals for you as you enjoy a talk with your friends, it can add a nice feature to your backyard or patio and you will find that your friends, neighbors and family members adore the time they spend by it.

Enjoy the outdoors with the great scent of Realtree for Her

Women and Camping

Source: Flickr

Camping has long been seen as a tradition for men. However, women are camping more and more. Even women who aren’t outdoorsy are finding reasons and opportunities to not only go camping, but to enjoy it.

It can be quite fun for a group of women to get together and go on a camping trip. It’s fun to get away with other girls without having to worry about significant others or children. Camping is a true opportunity to relax and unwind, to rediscover nature and the outdoors. When you’re with a group that isn’t all family you get the best of both worlds. You’re able to get around a campfire with your friends and talk about anything. However, when you want some time alone to read or meditate you don’t have to feel obligated to be with the group. Make sure though that before you ever go to be alone that you let the others know where you are going to be and how long you expect to be. Safety should always be a concern when camping.

There also comes a great sense of fulfillment when you go camping with a group of women. There is a sense of independence knowing that you were able to survive without all the modern conveniences. Women often are seen as unable to camp. The truth of the matter is more that women don’t go camping while growing up as much as men do. Boys go camping with friends, with their dads, and with organizations like the boy scouts. Girls typically only go camping with their family if their family likes to camp. So, women just grow up with less camping training. However, with the advent of the internet, women are now able to learn all there is to know about camping from the comfort of home.

Going into the unknown is scary, so it’s no wonder that many women are apprehensive about camping. They don’t know what to expect or what is going to be expected of them. Now the internet can help plan an entire camping trip and it’s possible for a group of camping novices to go out and have a successful camping trip.

The camping benefits are innumerable for women. You get to get away from family; sure you love them but often our identity gets lost in the two roles of wife and mother. While camping you are expected to just be you. You are not acting as anyone’s wife or mother, you’re just being yourself and sometimes that means rediscovering who you are. Camping also presents a great opportunity to meditate and think over tough decisions. If you are contemplating a major life decision or are faced with some tough choices, camping can be great for you.

The change in scenery can give you new perspective. By getting away from all the other distractions in your life you’ll be able to look at the choice more objectively and think of new ideas or angles. Camping is no longer just about roughing it and it’s not just for men. Everyday women are discovering how much fun camping can be. So, grab a group of your girlfriends and plan your camping trip today!

Camping Disasters

Source: Flickr

Have you ever gone camping to find that it rained the entire time you were out?
Well, if so you probably thought it was a camping disaster. Even though you may not have enjoyed walking along the creek in the sunshine or lazily watching a beaver build a dam while fishing in a pond, you nonetheless have a disaster camping story to remind you that the greatest camping places have moods too.

There are many things that can go wrong while camping and it all depends on the location you choose. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to a bear rummaging through your camp looking for food! That could spell disaster for this camping trip, even if the bear finds what it needs and then decides to leave without making a threatening scene.

Camping during a severe thunderstorm can really make you aware of the powers of nature and maybe even keep you up but if you are prepared you can weather the storm on this camping adventure. In the case of a storm you will need to have put an extra tarp under the tent and you will need to dig small trenches all the way around your tent for the downpour of rain to follow. If you do not the rain will puddle up around your tent and seep in from the floor. So make the trenches around the tent and anywhere in your camping site that you need to remain puddle free. It can help to put your camping equipment and tent on a slight grade.

Camping during a severe wind storm is particularly challenging and can be a terrible disaster if you let it. For this reason it can be wise to set up a lean-to or wind break that can alleviate the catastrophic event. A wind break for your camping spot can be designed within minutes between a couple of the sturdiest trees in your camping vicinity.

A forest fire can devastate camping if lightening strikes a nearby tree. Many times lightening can start a forest fire, but most often it is put out by the accompanying rains before it gets out of hand. This camping disaster is not very common but you should always have an escape plan in any camping situation. A forest fire can also be caused by a camping enthusiast being careless with their fire habits. For this reason you must always put out camping fires cold! This means with plenty of water, and until the fire pit is cold. Never allow a member of your camping party to play with fire at any time.

A camping disaster is never planned. So make sure you do your part so you can be ready in the event of a camping disaster and possibly prevent it from ruining your camping pleasures altogether. Most of the time you can avoid camping during a potentially bad situation by consulting the weather service for that area and by taking an emergency shortwave radio for continued updates.

Enjoying the outdoors – with Realtree

Recipe: honey smoked turkey

Source: Flickr

Honey Smoked Turkey
1 (10 pound) whole turkey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 (12 ounce) jar honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Remove neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse the bird and pat dry. Place in a medium grilling pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together sage, ground black pepper, celery salt, basil and vegetable oil. Drizzle mixture over the turkey. Flip turkey breast side down in the pan.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Loosely cover turkey with foil, and place the pan on the prepared grill. Cook approximately 1 hour.

Place approximately 2 handsful of smoking chips on the fire. Drizzle 1/2 the honey over the bird. Continue cooking covered approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).

Uncover turkey and carefully flip it breast side up in the baking pan. Baste with remaining honey. Continue cooking approximately 15 minutes. The cooked honey will be very dark.

Makes 12 servings.

Tips to Make Your Next Hiking Adventure a Safe One

Are you, your family, your friends, or your romantic partner planning to take a hiking adventure soon? As you likely already know, hiking can be fun and exciting, but it can be dangerous at the same time. Of course, there are a number of different steps that you can take to protect yourself on your next hiking adventure and a few of those steps are outlined below.

If you have yet to choose your hiking trail, you will want to do so soon. The sooner that you choose your hiking trail, the easier it will be to familiarize yourself with where you will be hiking. When choosing a hiking trail, take the difficulty level of the trail into consideration. For instance, you can find hiking trails in the United States that are designed for beginners, as well as those that have advanced hiking experience.

Once you have decided which hiking trail you would like to hike on, you will want to take the time to fully familiarize yourself with the trail. If you are able to acquire a map of the hiking trial in question, you will want to closely examine it. You will want to know exactly where you are at all times, as well as how to get out of the area, in the event of an emergency. If you do acquire a map of the hiking trial that you plan on hiking, make sure that you bring a copy of the map with you. This will also assist you in the event of an emergency.

Familiarize yourself with the rangers who patrol the park in question; get their contact information so you can contact them in the event of an emergency. Speaking of contacting rangers, you will want to make sure that you bring a cell phone with you. A cell phone will allow you to call for help if you or someone in your hiking party has an accident or wanders off the trail. If you do not own a cell phone, you may want to think about buying a cheap prepaid one or borrowing the cell phone of someone that you know.

Although it is important that you bring a cell phone with you on your next hiking adventure, a cell phone is not all that you will want to bring. Even if you are only planning on hiking for a day or two, you will want to make sure that you have enough food and drinks, just in case something went wrong. Hikers are urged to prepare for the worst, just in case. For that reason, you may want to think about packing a number of extra snacks and drinks.

Another great way that you can stay safe on your next hiking adventure is by making sure that you have all of the right hiking equipment and supplies. Most importantly, make sure that you are dressed for the hike. Hikers should wear sneakers at least, but you may want to think about buying a set of hiking boots. You will also want to review the weather before leaving. Even if it will be bright and sunny, you may still want to think about bringing a light coat with you, in case of rain or if you become stranded on the hiking trail overnight.

Perhaps the best way to stay safe on your next hiking adventure is by letting your friends and family members know where you are going, when you will be leaving, and when you will return. Should you not return on time, those that you know should be able to find you, or at least have a general idea of where you are. You may also want to write down the same information and leave it in a safe place at home.

The above outlined hiking safety tips are just a few of the many that you may want to think about practicing. As a reminder, hiking can be fun and exciting, but it can also be dangerous as well.