Activated Charcoal: The Beauty Hack That Won’t Break The Bank

Activated Charcoal: The Beauty Hack That Won’t Break The Bank

For all of us who love a good beauty DIY trend or brand new cosmetic item, there’s a fresh game-changer in town. The name is activated charcoal, and it’s been making headlines in the beauty world. While it’s not new, per se, it’s definitely on trend. Don’t be fooled by the name: although charcoal might bring along thoughts of being on Santa’s naughty list, there are many beauty benefits to this lightweight black carbon.

An ounce of activated charcoal powder is as cheap as three dollars and can be the perfect ingredient to many DIY beauty projects. Whether you want to concoct your own beauty project or you’d prefer to head straight to the store, one thing is for sure: activated charcoal has plenty of cosmetic uses and won’t break the bank in the process. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular uses.

Activated charcoal for pearly whites

When we think of having nice white teeth, we certainly don’t imagine a fog of darkness smeared across them, do we?

Oddly enough, activated charcoal has been hitting the shelves of many retailers for its teeth whitening advantages. Activated charcoal is known for pulling toxins and removing stains, so it only makes sense to apply it to your teeth, where unwanted staining can occur from delicious hot coffee, tea, a glass of red wine, or nearly anything else.

activated charcoal toothpasteSurprisingly, after using activated charcoal on your teeth, all of the blackness washes away and will leave your teeth feeling clean, polished, and smooth. It might look unpleasant when you stare into the mirror, but after continued use, you’ll more than likely notice results.

Many popular toothpaste brands have even included charcoal in some of their products. Examples include:

For skin

If you’ve been experiencing less than desirable skin conditions, you’ll be amazed by the multitude of benefits that activated charcoal can provide. To begin with, this miracle carbon draws out some of the nasty things that negatively impact your skin, such as an overabundance of the wrong types of bacteria, dirt and built-up dead skin cells.

With activated charcoal, you can easily draw out oil, dirt, and any other substance that is causing clogged pores. It does this through its mighty powers of adsorption.

A fresh and glowing face is completely achievable thanks to this super-ingredient for your skin. Applying this product to your face in the form of a facial mask, scrub, cleanser, or on-the-spot treatment like black drawing salve will quickly draw out dirt and other skin imperfections.

Now, you might be tempted to stop reading this post and go order some charcoal powder for your face right now; but before you do that, you should know that like the previous hack, some popular brands have also taken advantage of the rave and created their own charcoal mask products.

These commercially prepared masks have different ingredients that may make them better or worse for your skin type and goals, so it’s best to read reviews to help you determine which activated charcoal mask is perfect for you before jumping in.

For gorgeous hair

Now that we’ve covered teeth and skin, it’s time to review how activated charcoal can make a difference for your hair.

Just like how it removes toxins from your teeth and skin, activated charcoal does the same to your hair. If you’ve experienced anything unpleasant such as clogged hair follicles, dandruff, or even scalp infections, activated charcoal should be one of the first beauty items you reach out for.

Did you know that using activated charcoal on your hair not only improves its overall appearance, but can encourage hair growth as well?

That’s right – charcoal works its magic by pulling out toxins and pollutants that restrict and compromise the health of your hair, making it grow faster and look healthier. Dirt and other substances weigh down your hair and regular shampoos are not only incapable of removing as much as activated charcoal, but they actually leave back more residue as well.

Final word on activated charcoal

Although activated charcoal has been around since practically the beginning of time, we’re now finally appreciating its detoxifying advantages on teeth, skin, and hair. Whether you decide to opt for a fun DIY project or premade mask, toothpaste or shampoo, you can rest assured that you’ve made the right decision for your pocket and your beauty – which is rare!

Pro tip: when going the DIY route, you might want to opt for the activated charcoal in capsules. They’re less messy and make it easier to gauge proportions.

About the author:

Thanks to today’s guest writer, Trish Sutton for this fabulous article! Trysh is a wife, mother, strategic leader and teacher. She runs a website called Pure Path, which is a naturopathic wellness site that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living.

You can follow her on social media to learn more about the benefits of essential oils, and healthy living practices.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Youtube | Google Plus

Is activated charcoal part of your skin, hair, or oral hygiene routine?

How do you like it? Please share your experience in the comments below!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Should You Use Coconut Oil for Skincare? Maybe Not…

Should You Use Coconut Oil for Skincare? Maybe Not…

I have a confession–and you might get a little bit mad at me after you read this: I absolutely CRINGE every time I see someone recommend coconut oil for skincare online. Especially when I see it recommended topically for someone with acne prone skin.

You see it everywhere too, don’t you? The majority of health and wellness websites and publications out there recommend coconut oil for a myriad of things–and I’m not talking about just as a baking substitution (I actually have a blog post about that myself!) or as a skincare ingredient. I’ve seen articles and heard from ‘experts’ that coconut oil can do everything from protect skin from the sun, fight fungal infections, help you lose weight, draw out toxins from your mouth through oil pulling, and even make gray hair grow back its original color. It’s really the most common panacea ingredient out there in the world of green beauty and wellness. 

The truth? These results don’t happen for most people.

Of course it’s not black and white–it depends on the type of coconut oil you’re using, as well as your skin type.

Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to toss your jar of coconut oil in the trash–I still cook and bake with it often, and it does have many benefits. But I want to talk about what you can really expect to get from using coconut oil for skincare. Here’s the scoop.

Oily skin: beware!

Organic virgin coconut oilIf you have acne prone skin or are prone to clogged pores, coconut oil is not your skincare ingredient soulmate. Because of its large molecular size, it doesn’t get completely absorbed for many people with already oilier skin. When an emollient ingredient (whether a carrier oil, natural butter, wax, or petrochemical) sits on the surface of the skin without being absorbed, it forms what’s known as an occlusive barrier, which keeps your skin from breathing and may hinder other important skin functions. This may lead to breakouts for many people.

While studies that determine comedogenicity of a topical ingredient are largely outdated and based on animal experiments in simulated environments with unnatural levels of exposure, we do know that different oils work differently depending on a person’s individual skin and body chemistry. While many studies may point to antimicrobial and soothing effects of coconut oil in theory, they don’t translate to real results for many real people due to its slow absorption.

While there are numerous oils I prefer over coconut for oilier, or clog-prone skin, two that I’ve found to be student and client favorites are grapeseed and jojoba. These are easily absorbed by the skin, and are less likely to form an occlusive barrier. Grapeseed in particular works well for those prone to acne because it is high in linoleic acid, which has been shown to help with acne breakouts. I know it sounds too good to be true–an oil that moisturizes AND reduces breakouts. Jojoba is one of my personal favorites, and is known to be very similar to our skin’s own sebum (the oil produced by the skin’s oil–sebaceous–glands), thus it absorbs very readily. Jojoba oil is also far more shelf stable than fractionated coconut oil for topical skincare and aromatherapy preparations.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, using coconut oil for skincare still may not work for you.

Earlier I mentioned that some people use coconut for its drawing properties, as an oral cleansing ingredient. This drawing effect also happens on the skin, which may benefit some people, but if you’re someone with dry or sensitive skin, this may perpetuate dryness and even lead to irritation and scaliness. 

Learn from the past: don’t overuse!

Tree nut allergies and sensitivities are becoming more common now due to overuse. They’re in just about everything! I think about phenomena like gluten intolerance, which affects such a large percentage of the population today. You could use the argument that the wheat today is different from the wheat 100 years ago due to the prevalence of glyphosate and other toxicants leading to increased body burden–however, gluten itself, in one form or another, is in just about every processed food as an inexpensive way for food manufacturers to meet protein requirements. We know that processed food consumption is higher than ever before in history, so I think it’s logical to say that too much is just too much.

coconut treeThe same thing is happening with nuts in general (the dairy-free trend is largely responsible for all the processed nut food products in our food supply now–even our “healthy” food supply). Our bodies aren’t used to this many nuts in the diet. If you think of the way of predecessors ate, nut trees were probably few and far between. They didn’t have orchards of them, and they certainly weren’t eating them 365 days a year. (I feel like there’s someone out there reading this who is doing the Whole30 diet and just hating me, because roasted almonds are probably the treat they’re looking forward to.)

Anyhow, many scientists agree that eating some nuts is healthy, and some nut oils and butters do benefit the skin topically. But because so many companies are now using coconut oil or coconut oil derivatives such as coco glucoside, decyl glucoside, caprylic acid, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sodium laureth sulfate, just to name a few–as an ingredient in their products (whether heavily processed or not), we all have to be careful not to overdo it. Coconuts are considered tree nuts, and are not always labeled as such, which may lead to severe irritant and allergic reactions either from the whole ingredient, or one of its derivatives.

Virgin vs. fractionated coconut oil for skincare

You may have been using coconut oil on your skin and getting great results. If that’s the case, you might not need to change a thing. But do make sure you’re using virgin coconut oil, which receives the smallest amount of processing.

Fractionated coconut oil undergoes heat, chemical processing, or pressing to yield a coconut oil that is liquid at room temperature (virgin coconut oil solidifies below 76 degrees F) and thus easier to incorporate into formulations. It may be further refined to remove impurities. One drawback to this is that through the fractionation process, you lose much of the lauric acid, which is key to coconut oil’s benefits such as its microbial properties.

Not surprisingly, a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that virgin coconut oil had a higher antioxidant capacity than coconut that had been processed or refined. 

Now I know fractionated coconut oil is more popular and user friendly as a carrier oil for skincare and to dilute essential oils, but trust me and get the good stuff–organic, cold pressed virgin coconut oil–if you’re going to use it at all!

Antimicrobial properties

Here’s a place where we have some good evidence for coconut oil’s effectiveness. As mentioned, lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial properties. When I say antimicrobial, it essentially means anti-anything-small.

There’s one study that testified to coconut oil’s ability to reduce fungus–specifically strains of candida. The study measured its effectiveness against a few different strains of candida, which had varying levels of responsiveness. Overall, coconut oil was determined to be an effective anti-fungal agent. Still, check with your health provider, because not all fungi are the same!

Still hoping for coco-nutty miracles?

coconut oil for skincareWhile coconut oil does show evidence of antimicrobial activity, and may work well as a moisturizer, let’s keep expectations in check. Expecting it to make your gray hair turn back to that color of blonde you achieved that summer you worked as a lifeguard is a little overly optimistic.

And we’re not even going to get into the sun protection thing here (but we can talk about it HERE), but don’t under any circumstances rely solely on coconut oil for sun protection.

It’s easy to get excited about natural ‘cures’ or ingredients that seem to just do everything. But remember that marketing money has turned wheatgrass into a something people order shots of, has turned acai into a magic berry, and has people sprinkling turmeric on their food and praying it will make them invincible.

It’s not that these foods aren’t healthy and magical in their own right, it’s just that they’re not the ONE THING that will fix everything. They have some compounds that bring benefits to the body, but they don’t work miracles, and overusing them can cause problems.

In skincare we see the same thing, the same touting of ingredients that are better than the rest.

So if you applied coconut oil this morning thinking it would make your cheeks rosy or your eyes brighter or your wrinkles completely disappear, I get it. And if it works for you, that’s great! But if you’re one of the many people (and I hear stories from people like this all the time) that bought a magical product containing coconut oil–even that special type of coconut oil that’s supposed to NOT clog pores (again, this is marketing, people) but you experienced a breakout, redness, or scaly, itchy rash–you’re not alone. And there’s nothing wrong with your skin. It just means that your skin (and perhaps your diet) needs something other than coconut oil to be healthy.

Want to learn more about using the right DIY ingredients for your skin?

If you want to learn how to use the right oils and other natural ingredients for your skin, you can check out my free online skincare class. I’m not here to crush coconut oil dreams, I just want people out there to know how to use oils to make their skin seriously glow. Click HERE to sign up!

share-your-thoughts-2-150x150Tell me your coconut oil story:

Is coconut oil your friend? Or are you one of the many who react to coconut oil in skincare? Please share in the comments!

*Photo #2 by Vengolis. photo 3 by Phu Thinh Co.


Is Bone Broth the One Thing That Can Fix Your Skin?

Is Bone Broth the One Thing That Can Fix Your Skin?

I have a funny story about bone broth. I first learned about it years ago when I was a student at the and was intrigued. I’m a lifelong soup lover. I’d even consider myself a soup connoisseur. I’d be perfectly happy to eat soup every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No joke. And I sometimes do. But in all my years of soup loving and soup eating, I hadn’t heard of bone broth until then. And then it was something I started seeing more often and now, of course, it’s everywhere. So I asked my husband Joe (who’s an award-winning executive chef) about it, and if he could make me some. His response:

“So you want me to make you some stock?”

I said “No, I want bone broth.” And then proceeded to tell him what was in it and how to cook it to make it so magical.

His response? “So you want me to make you some stock. Because what you described is exactly how you make stock.”

So apparently, “bone broth” is simply animal-bone-based stock with a stickier name. I told Joe how it’s this big thing now, and doctors are now prescribing it for just about everything, and it’s so good for gut health, and the immune system, and the skin, and all that, and now big celebrities are talking about it and there are bestselling books about it, and all that. And then he rolled his eyes at me and said he’d go ahead and make me some stock. Sigh.

So let’s back up for a sec to where I told him about all the healing benefits of bone broth.

When I first learned about bone broth, I learned about how it’s so special–and it’s different from other soup–because slowly simmering the bones, herbs, and veggies for so long delivers healthy fats, bioavailable forms of protein (gelatin), minerals and other nutrients that you can only get from inside the bones and cartilage of the beef, poultry, pork, or fish that you’re using–not the meat or skin. These nutrients are particularly beneficial to the immune system and gut health (especially since the majority of the immune system lives in the gut), but also helps to build healthy, resilient skin from the inside out which is why we now see it associated with anti-aging skin health claims. What do you think, is the hype real, or is bone broth just another panacea that will fade away once the next big thing hits?

Dr. Kellyann Petrucci says bone broth is her one thing–and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

unnamedI have a real treat for you today, because I’m sharing my interview with the New York Times bestselling author of a book I love (with amazing recipes), Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci. I really loved that book, it’s about how to use my favorite thing–soup–to have gorgeous skin AND improve your overall health. The recipes in that book are quite delicious too! So when I found out that Dr. Kellyann wrote a cookbook with even more recipes–her new one, Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Cookbook (which also comes with amazing bonuses!)–I knew I needed to have her on my show.

What piqued my interest the most about Dr. Kellyann, is that she’s a doctor who focuses on a real, whole food solution for just about everyone, before she even considers other treatments or solutions. She’s a naturopathic doctor, which means she’s more likely to use food as medicine than an allopathic doctor–but even so, I’ve never talked to a naturopathic doctor who has such a laser focus on one thing, and feels so strongly about how well it works so many things and so many people.

Watch my interview with Dr. Kellyann to learn WHY bone broth is her one thing…

…and what about it is so amazing for the skin, as well as get the scoop about her new book. Dr. Kellyann also debunks the myth that it takes a long time to see results from holistic healing methods–be sure to listen for that!

Click HERE to subscribe to my podcast and download the audio of this interview, FREE.

Wasn’t that fascinating? By the way, here’s the link to the New York Times article Dr. Kellyann referred to with information about the study about how your gut health affects your ability to lose weight.

About Dr. Kellyann Petrucci:

Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D., is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet (Rodale, 2015), and the new book, Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Cookbook. She also is host of the PBS special, 21 Days to a Slimmer, Younger You.

kellyannheadshot06_15A weight-loss and natural anti-aging transformation expert, Dr. Petrucci has a private practice in the Birmingham, Michigan area and is a concierge doctor for celebrities in New York City and Los Angeles. She is a board-certified naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition consultant.

Dr. Petrucci is a regular guest on television shows including The Doctors, Dr. Oz, and national news programs, and has authored six books for John Wiley & Sons. In addition, she is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen. She is the driving force behind the popular website

Dr. Petrucci did postgraduate work in Europe, studying naturopathic medicine in England and Switzerland. She is one of the few practitioners in the United States certified in biological medicine by the esteemed Dr. Thomas Rau of the Paracelsus Klinik Lustmuhle in Switzerland.

Is bone broth your one thing?

I’m curious–is bone broth (or stock, as my husband insists) part of your regular diet? Have you ever done a bone broth fast or cleanse? Please share your bone broth experience with me in the comments below!

*Affiliate disclaimer



Are These 5 Beauty-Enhancing Nutrients in Your Diet?

Are These 5 Beauty-Enhancing Nutrients in Your Diet?

Photo courtesy of Getty

Photo courtesy of Getty

Looking good isn’t just something current pop culture is obsessed with. If historical evidence is anything to go by, even our ancestors took a lot of pains to stay on top of their beauty game. What was different though at that time, was that they relied on nature’s gifts to enhance their physical charm and to fight Father Time. With the growing impact of modern media today, people’s fascination with looking good has risen. However, the solutions many turn to in hopes of boosting their beauty have experienced a massive shift from the natural route that our foremothers took.

Today, after many years of economic progress and clinical research, beauty giants and cosmetologists have introduced many “beautifying” products, treatments, and surgeries. Many of these measures, however, have serious safety concerns and can even impact your overall well-being and health, making you susceptible to premature aging, allergies, and even cancer. Luckily, we’re amidst a paradigm shift where time tested beauty traditions are making a comeback and more people are understanding how the nutrients you ingest via the foods you eat affect how you look.

Here are five beauty-enhancing nutrients that you can obtain from foods–easily, safely. and naturally:

1. Biotin – When you put in many weeks of effort to grow your nails, it’s rather disheartening to see them crack and chip, especially when you’ve spent a bomb on your fancy manicure. You may blame the nature of your work for the constant nail breakage and may try many nail-care products to strengthen your nails. What you must know, however, is that instead of looking for temporary solutions, addressing the nutrient deficiency from within will ensure that the problem comes to a halt. Biotin, a B vitamin is found in foods like bananas, raw dairy products, mushrooms, tuna and peanut butter. Biotin not only helps aid nail growth but improves hair growth as well, reports the Linus Pauling Institute. Biotin even regulates metabolic function and keeps glucose levels in check.

2. Iron – If you notice chunks of your hair falling out, on your pillow, the bathroom sink, or even when brushing your hair, and the reason behind it could be have to do with your diet! A diet deficient in iron can lead to anemia, which is one of the most common causes of thinning hair. This is because a lack of iron in the body can cause a reduction in the levels of red blood cells, which are responsible for delivering nutrition to the cells. It can thus reduce the flow of essential nutrients to the hair follicles, making them dry, dull and brittle. Try adding iron-rich foods like nuts, seeds, leafy greens, lentils, whole grains, and even delightful, dark chocolate!

By Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg: א (Aleph) derivative work: — raeky (Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Vitamin C – Whether you’re concerned about premature wrinkles or discoloration caused by sun damage, vitamin C can help. Vitamin C boosts the production of collagen, the skin’s structural protein responsible for maintaining and improving elasticity and tone, thereby giving you smoother, firmer, and younger-looking skin. It also improves skin healing from scars. Vitamin C’s tyrosinase inhibitors also prevent excess production of melanin and can protect the melanin-producing cells from sun damage, thus post-sun hyperpigmentation. This antioxidant even helps fight inflammation and free radical damage that can make you susceptible to cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature aging. You can get your daily dose of vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lime, and vegetables like leafy greens, bell peppers, and tomatoes.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids – No matter how much you slather your skin with moisturizing creams and lotions, dry skin won’t heal unless you also focus on moisturizing at the cellular level. Including omega 3-rich foods such as oily fish, chia seeds, walnuts and soybeans in your diet can work wonders to help keep your skin moisturized and supple. Omega-3 fats contain natural emollient properties which seal in cell moisture and have a revitalizing effect on dry skin. According to a clinical study, those who take omega-3 supplements show better response against UV rays with appropriate topical application of sunscreen. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fats help reduce swelling, redness, and skin irritation, thereby increasing clarity and texture. Omega-3 fats also help repair the skin’s damaged cell membranes.

5. Flavanoids – Starting your morning with a cup of green tea daily, apart from improving your metabolism and mood can also improve your skin. The intake of the green tea increases the flow of blood and oxygen delivery to the skin. The polyphenols in green tea help protect the skin against harmful UV radiation and improve overall skin quality, a study conducted by The Journal of Nutrition reports. Eating chocolate rich in flavanols (dark chocolate) also has a photoprotective effect on the skin, a study conducted by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology suggests.

By including these beauty-enhancing nutrients in your daily diet, you won’t need pricey and potentially toxic creams or cosmetic procedures; nature serves up all the solutions you need!

Comment BelowWhat’s your favorite way to enhance your beauty from the inside out?

Please share in the comments below!

Today’s Special Guest Author Bio:

Vineetha Reddy

Vineetha Reddy

Vineetha Reddy is a regular practitioner and freelance writer of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health, and wellness. She gets great pleasure from contributing to the burgeoning ecosystem of wellness knowledge, and strongly believes that the organic food you find in your pantry provides the best benefits for beauty and great health. Get more of Vineetha’s holistic ideas and solutions by following her on Twitter!


*Image 1 from Getty, image 2 by Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg: א (Aleph) derivative work: — raeky (Citrus_paradisi_(Grapefruit,_pink).jpg) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

In Defense of Entrepreneur Barbie

In Defense of Entrepreneur Barbie

Entrepreneur BarbieOh, Barbie. The now 55-year-old lady who’s held more than 150 “jobs” and has been on the receiving end of ten times that many attacks from feminist and positive body image promoting groups is at it again. Only this time, she doesn’t have a new job. After being an astronaut, deep sea explorer, and presidential candidate just to name a few; there isn’t much left to choose from in terms of a conventional career. Instead, she’s decided to do her own thing and become an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship is something that’s near and dear to me, obviously, since I also chose that route after years of feeling unfulfilled in corporate America. So when I got my Barbie Collector catalog (yes, I get that catalog) in the mail and saw Entrepreneur Barbie I was both pleased and intrigued. I was pleased because, well, I’m not an astronaut, so I could relate to this Barbie. But I was intrigued because I knew this would spark yet another stream of debates in conventional and social media about whether this latest incarnation is a step in the “right” direction for women, or is it sending us right back to the 1950s.

Overall, the media views Entrepreneur Barbie in a negative way.

Mattel put a good deal of thought into the development of Entrepreneur Barbie. These efforts included assembling a team of eight real-life female entrepreneurs to serve as chief inspiration officers” to the project and share their thoughts on how today’s female entrepreneur should be portrayed.

a4674881e6c9179b5f72e980243b4502Criticism is nothing new to Barbie, and I’m sure by now she’s developed a rather tough skin, which is a good thing since most of the articles I read about this latest version haven’t been supportive. A recent article on shows how though the team behind this project intended to spread the message of a confident, tech savvy woman who’s going after her dreams. However others disagree, stating that “Entrepreneur Barbie is modern woman with her smartphone and her tablet stuck in a sexist, outdated, dangerous representation of femininity.” This, of course pertains to her anatomic proportions (which aren’t realistic, though they are much more realistic now than they were in the beginning), as well as her hot pink sleeveless, fitted shift dress and accessories. 

Another opinion I found on, by Liz Tilatti, isn’t as much concerned with Barbie’s anatomy or the idea that she’s overly sexualized or a poor representation of feminity. Rather, the author is more concerned that Barbie doesn’t project a realistic image of a day in the life of an entrepreneur. Instead, her image is much more corporate, and too high-end for a start-up business owner; and therefore is sending mixed messages. She feels that “if entrepreneur Barbie were dressed up in a casual t-shirt, jeans, and came with diverse wardrobe pieces and accessories allowing the girl buying her to dress her up and accessorize her as she pleases, that would best represent female entrepreneurs.”

Here are my thoughts as an entrepreneur who’s also an image coach:

My typical work "uniform."

My typical work “uniform.”

When I worked in corporate America, I too, had an array of expensive suits, heels, handbags, accessories, and the latest gadgets (I rocked a Sony Clie handheld device back then, and a FLIP phone–oh yeah!), with my makeup and nails done everyday. I dressed that way because, yes, professional dress was expected where I worked–but also because it made me feel pretty, sleek, confident, and abundant. I knew I was working for someone else, but I was always taught to dress for the job you want, not the job you have; and I was very ambitious. The politics didn’t do it for me, and I had a hard time working my a$$ off and spending my Universe-given creative talents for someone else’s benefit; so when I left that atmosphere to be a stay-at-home mom, I knew I’d never return.

Fast forward several years of being a mommy, then returning back to school once (for aesthetics) and then again (for holistic nutrition); and lo and behold, I’m now an entrepreneur. My days consist of writing content for this website and others, my social media outlets, upcoming books, webinars, speaking engagements, and courses. In addition, I continuously experiment with new skincare formulations, and take as many aesthetics and nutrition continuing education courses as possible. I also have a thriving health and image coaching practice where I offer women one-on-one support via phone or Skype on how they can look and feel amazing and build a solid self image from the inside out and outside in. Oh yeah, and I’m a mother of two very active little girls (who play piano, train in classical ballet, and play soccer and lacrosse), a wife, and a homeowner. Most of the time, like Liz Tilatti, I’m not dressed in overly dressy or corporate attire–most of the time I’m not even in jeans–I’m in yoga clothes.

However, when I have a Skype client, teach a class in person, have a speaking engagement, attend a conference or trade show, do a book signing, meet with investors, or have any other in-person contact with anyone at all in a business setting; I do dress more like Entrepreneur Barbie–in a suit, or a dress, with accessories, makeup, nails, handbag, you name it. I also have the latest technology in terms of my computer, an iPad, and an iPhone, because I’m often on-the-go, and I need to work from wherever I am whether it’s home, on the lacrosse field, or at an airport.

What I might wear when out representing my brand.

What I might wear when out representing my brand.

Even though I (and most entrepreneurs) don’t dress fancy when working from home, running around, or doing anything else behind the scenes, you better believe that when I’m representing my business I do dress the part. Even if entrepreneurs don’t need to dress a certain way “at work,” many of our clients or other people we interact with for business, do. Dressing up is not only a representation of my own professional image and the Holistically Haute brand, but it’s also a sign of respect to those with whom I do business.

I realize that other people might have different definitions of professional image than me and that’s fine–it all depends on what you’re trying to project and and who your audience is.

This is why I actually think Entrepreneur Barbie sends a positive message.

She’s dressed pretty much how I dress when I’m representing myself as an author or Holistically Haute as a brand. Yes her dress is pink and fitted, but it’s not showing cleavage or too much leg, and I think her accessories are tasteful. She’s dressed similar to how some of my entrepreneurial mentors like Marie Forleo or Melanie Duncan might dress in their videos, interviews, and when representing their brands.

In terms of Barbie’s anatomy, honestly, I don’t really care. In the past, Barbie’s body was the embodiment of the “Bombshell” standard of beauty made famous by the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor. Today, her body reflects a standard of beauty that’s not necessarily realistic for most women–but then again, she’s a DOLL–a toy. She’s not meant to be realistic–though I will point out that she’s much more realistic than some of her competitors like Bratz, Ever After High, or Monster High dolls–and she dresses more appropriately. I’m much more concerned with unrealistic images created by altering body shapes and proportions via digital retouching than I am with that of a plastic and rubber toy.

So while the image projected by Entrepreneur Barbie might not represent every type of entrepreneur out there, I feel it does represent a necessary aspect of entrepreneurship–professional image. I also don’t feel that it poorly represents feminity either.

Should Entrepreneur Barbie have options to change out of her dress and into jeans and sneakers or yoga clothes (or even pajamas) for when she’s working from home or having a casual mastermind session with other entrepreneurs? Absolutely! I’m all for it. One of the most powerful aspects of being an entrepreneur is having the freedom of CHOICE.

Comment BelowI’m absolutely dying to know how you feel about Entrepreneur Barbie.

Leave a reply in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this article!

*Image 1 from Amazon. Image 2 from





A Natural Beauty Buff…Who, Me?

A Natural Beauty Buff…Who, Me?

natural beauty buff kimberly locI’ve been doing my work for quite a few years now, and I’ve done quite a few interviews and guest features for other blogs and publications. I’m always flattered when I’m asked for an interview or to contribute to an article, and I’m especially tickled when it’s a site that I really love and already read like Kim talks about natural beauty and skincare products, sure, but she also talks about fun topics like food and style and has a great writing style. So when she asked to read my book and if I’d like to be featured as one of her Natural Beauty Buffs, it was a no-brainer.

I used to do a lot of product reviews on HH, but since my business has taken off I hardly do them. Plus I really prefer talking about products I love that I already buy and use regularly, so when Kim asked for 8 of my go-to favorite holistic products, why I love them, and how/when I use them I was excited to oblige!

Here are the natural beauty products I selected:


  1. minerals™ softLINES™ eyeliner pencil by DeVita Skin Care
  2. Lavera Naturkosmetik’s Trend Sensitiv Natural Liquid Foundation
  3. doTERRA® Pepperment Beadlets
  4. Eco Tints tinted lip balm:
  5. Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One” Organic Fair Trade Hair Crème
  6. Body Ecology™ CocoBiotic Natural Probiotic with Coconut Water
  7. NeoCell’s Super Collagen Types 1&3 powder
  8. NeoCell’s Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry liquid 

To find out why I love them as well as how and when I use them, click on over to my feature on Kim’s blog:

Natural Beauty Buff, Rachael Pontillo, Holistically Haute

LYS final front coverOn another note, I was extremely touched by Kim’s comments about my book, Love Your Skin, Love Yourself. She liked my “girlfriend to girlfriend” writing style and said “I felt like I was having a conversation with a best friend while reading her book!” That warms my heart because that’s exactly how I hope all readers feel about the book. She also also referred to me as a “pioneer within the broader green beauty industry whom I admire and must reach know more about.” …which I have to say leaves me a bit speechless, I’m so humbled and touched.

I want to extend a huge thank you to Kim Wallace of and I encourage you to browse through her blog…it’s so much fun and has such great information!

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