The Nature of Beauty



Jessica Dervie is one of the Esthetics Managers at the Nature of Beauty Spa located in Minneapolis Minnesota and has been working the field since 2013.

My family has gone to her before and they love her! Dervie’s personality and hard work is really what gets people coming back.

Tell me about yourself?

“I was born and raised in Minnesota, grew up in Woodbury, Minnesota and have been obsessed with skin since I can remember!”


What is your skin story?

“I always had bad skin, & have tried everything from accutane, to antibiotics, & every oral and topical prescription known to man!  I was finally put on a combination of birth control and spironolactone when I was 16 and stayed on it through my entire 20’s! Acne problem = solved… right? Well fast forward a few years, I went to college at St. Catherine’s for nursing. Worked for several years at Hennepin county and then did home care specializing in wound care, during which my fascination with skin was rediscovered!”


What made you want to become an Esthetician?

“I started having many health issues, fatigue, IBS, endometriosis, and food allergies arising.  After not being satisfied with the non-answers I was being given by western doctors, I started exploring and going to different naturopaths, acupuncturists, and other TCM therapists trying to figure out what was going on. I gained a lot of insight into how our body is a system of checks and balances and how it all works together.

They emphasize the importance of finding the root of the problem instead of just slapping a bandaid on the symptom. So I decided to get off the birth control & spironolactone and do a detox! Which went well for a while, however wasn’t really sustainable and slowly my skin started to break out again. I was flung back into my skin obsession, and my friend who had gone through similar things and helped me navigate some of my health issues convinced me to go back to school for esthetics.”


How important are clean, better for you products?

“I think clean skincare is more important than we even realize. It’s equivalent to a healthy diet, because what you put in/on is what you get out! Our skin is our largest organ and if medications can be absorbed transdermally through patches and creams then every single ingredient in our personal care products matter, especially since we use them daily!

If you have cancer causing, endocrine disrupting ingredients being mixed together and slathered on daily, we need to realize the impact this has on our health.

It’s hard because it’s not like one time using naughty ingredients and you’re in the cancer ward. It is a lifetime of use and soon your body can no longer fight off this accumulation of toxins. So prevention is key! There are so many products out there that are safe, effective and luxurious, there is no need to compromise safety!

One book I highly recommend is Not Just A Pretty Face. It changed my whole perspective on ingredients.”


What do you recommend people do who are shopping on a budget? 

“I like to tell people to download the Think Dirty app on their phones and go shopping! this app will give you a toxicity rating of any product or ingredient you enter and is hugely helpful if you are shopping at a place where you’re unsure, unlike Nature of Beauty where we have done all the work for you 🙂

Shopping on our website doesn’t have to be expensive You will find that natural products actually last a lot longer because the ingredients are so much more effective!

Also we vote with our dollars so if you’ve noticed the increasing trend in organic and natural lines even at big box stores like target? That is because there is an increased demand.

So when we all stop buying the toxic crap the companies will either change/improve their formulas or go out of business.”


How did you discover Nature of Beauty?

My friends was in the process of buying The Nature of Beauty, and taught me a lot about how the chemicals we put on our body and use in our homes affect our health. This is when I started connecting the dots with how our skin is really just a road map of what is going on inside! 




Lastly, what is your ultimate goal as an esthetician?

“We are giant walking petri dishes, and just basically a host for a magnificent micro-biome that needs to be balanced to be healthy.  I knew I had to share my experience and lessons with other people and to this day my job is not a job it’s the best decision I ever made! I love helping people look and feel their best and will always have a soft spot and passion for my acne clients!”


Jessica’s favorite product- Brand New Day by One Love Organics

“It is great because it’s a small company who makes everything in a small hand made batches and is eco certified, it has papaya and pineapple enzymes and organic sweet pea flour to exfoliate both physically and enzymatically. Enzymes are only activated when they are wet, and will only remove the dead skin, so they won’t penetrate healthy skin which can cause irritation.”


My family’s personal experiences with Jessica have been amazing and they have said that she always goes the extra mile while working with them. She knows so much about her work and everything that goes into it!

I will link The Nature of Beauty website and some more information below.

Jessica Dervie Esthetics Manager The Nature of Beauty Spa 4151 Minnehaha Ave. Minneapolis, MN. 55406 651-238-6047



Services Provided: 

Ingredients They Avoid: 


YouTuber: Brianna Stanko

It is crazy that posting and making YouTube videos is way that many people have jump started a career and have been able to start businesses from it but I think it is great at the same time!

There are a few that I follow but one in particular, Brianna Stanko, has been someone who has inspired me to start looking more and more into what products are actually made of.

Brianna owns or is part owner of an online beauty and skincare store that has a main focus of better for you products called Premier Look.

There are many different brands that can be purchased through the website that range in price. The skincare products are more expensive with some items costing up to $200 and others costing $12.

A blog is connected with the site that goes into even more depth about all the brands and products.

She is the first YouTuber who got me thinking about products that other YouTubers recommend to their subscribers, wondering if they know about ingredients that are in the products.

Brianna has invited many professionals onto the her channel to talk about skincare, hair, makeup and more. They have debunked myths and inaccuracies of information that is out there on social media and in general.

I have appreciated her honesty with those kinds of things, if she sees a product that is going around the internet that she has done research on and knows that it really is not all that great of for people and their skin she will call them out on it.

There is one particular product that she made a video about that many YouTubers were “loving” and recommending left and right, the YSL All Hours Foundation, costing almost $60.. insane!- I would personally never spend that much for a foundation.

You could buy six chipotle burritos, ten cups of coffee or eight bottles of wine for the cost of that one foundation.

I will be linking the video about that product and a few others I have found helpful, below.

Again, I recommend always during your own research before purchasing! 🙂

YSL Foundation:


Hair Myths:


My prior posts have been pretty intense with information so I wanted to post something a little lighter. I hope you enjoy!

Feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think!

Bloggers To Follow

Being that I have recently started a blog, I have found it helpful to follow other people of similar interests.

I have learned a lot from them, by being inspired from something they have written about like, a product they recommend, a product they don’t recommend, reviews, demonstrations, research and more.

I like to keep to date as much as possible about what is going on in the beauty world and following these bloggers is one way I do so.


A topic on the rise: Clean Beauty

Louise Dartford, a professional makeup artist based in the UK recently posted about this very topic. In her post, What Does Clean Beauty Mean To You? , she gets her viewers thinking about what products they use and what is important them in their beauty routine.

Louise writes about a breakfast she was invited to the by the brand Weleda who is launching a new Clean Beauty campaign, Weleda is a skincare brand that has focused on clean beauty since 1921.

During the breakfast the brands managing director, Jayn Sterland, according to Dartford, asked the guests to think about what they had put on their faces and bodies that morning and to think about whether or not they really knew what is in the products.

One part of the post that I thought particularly important was the idea of, do we all actually need the products we use and what kind of affect can they have on us and the environment.

We’re definitely bathing a lot more often. Gone are the one bath a week days so could we be washing too much? By using too many products too often, are we stopping our skin from doing what it’s meant to do? Are those ‘lovely’ bubbles helping our skin or are they just for show – are they helping our environment for that matter – another big factor we must consider in our beauty regimes. So much of our products end up down the plug hole, it is inevitable that some will make their way into our rivers and oceans.”- Dartford.

Louise wrote a piece for Detox Health Beauty that further explores her thoughts on the topic of clean beauty.

It sounds bad of me to say but truly, before reading this post I did not think of the impression that the products I use daily could have on our rivers and oceans and the creatures that call them home.

After this I definitely need to go through all the products I own.

Ana Green, also known as Ana Goes Green is another blogger I follow that has a passion for natural, organic and eco-friendly beauty products of all kinds, who has also written about Weleda on her blog.

Ana has such a passion for green beauty that she has decided to take her knowledge even further by taking course through Formula Botanica, an accredited online cosmetic science school, with a focus on organic skincare formulation.

Having this as an option for anyone out there is amazing to me because it gives people the ability to make products of their own, for themselves or to even start a business.

I had no idea something like this was out there for everyone around the world to access, knowledge is power, so when I saw Ana’s post I really wanted to reference it. I think it is a great tool.

As part of the course you gain access to their Online classroom, where people are encouraged to ask questions and post photos of their formulations. Although I haven’t up to this point contributed much to the group, I do love seeing the kinds of products people are making, it is really interesting and inspirational. Formula Botanica also offers students a chance to network and get together in person as part of their Annual conference.”- Green.

Ana goes into more depth about the process in her post, Studying with Formula Botanica- Diploma in Organic skincare formulation, and plans to continue with updates and her experience with the whole thing.

If you are interested in organic beauty I suggest checking out her blog. I have thought about getting my esthetician license for a few years now and after reading her post it has made me want to research the topic further.


A topic on the rise: Essential Oils

Essential oils have become popular in the last few years, becoming the hot new thing that many people had started using for multiple purposes and the craze has not seemed to die down.

I have taken part in the hype and so have many of my friends. I have one friend that swears by essential oils, from helping with pain to healing her skin.

I know people who love to mix them in with skincare and makeup products and wouldn’t go back,

Jacqueline, also known as The Beauty Proof , dedicated a whole post just to that idea.

Top 5 Essential Oils For Beautiful Skin and Nails (Lavender in NOT invited to this party)

“Essential oils are highly concentrated substances derived from plants. They’re potent and–when used correctly–highly effective.” Jacqueline.

There are so many different kinds and brands of essential oils it is hard to know what it is worth it and what isn’t, especially when it comes to diffusing the oils because some are not safe to or meant to be ingested.

The five essential oils she stands by:

Why Lavender is not joining the party,

“It seems everyone and their mother can’t stop raving about lavender. But I’m not one of those people.”- Jacquline. 

“Lavender is used not only for its pleasant fragrance, but also to calm skin irritations. But I often find it can actually irritate and inflame sensitive skin, even when used in a mild, diluted form.”- Jacquline.

I really enjoy that Jacquline includes products that she recommends that contain the essential oil, they range in price and, of course, are all natural skincare products. The descriptions she has for each oil is small so it is a short but informative read.

Jacquline also includes the source that after trying multiple different brands, is the only place where she will purchase essential oils from, Rocky Mountain Oils.

One disclaimer I will make with this is, I recommend researching all essential oils before use, there are many opinions out there and they are not for everyone.


A topic on the rise: Eyebrows

Now I’m throwing beauty at you.

Amber Clark, also known as, Barefoot Blonde recently posted about this new revived beauty craze, eyebrows!

I am glad I took my moms advice from grade school when she would tell me to leave them alone and if I plucked them too much she would sure let me know, I have been blessed with my moms naturally well shaped and thicker brows.

Thanks mom!

In Amber’s post, Lessons on Brow Tinting, she first gives a brief overview of the history on brows and how they have made a come back, small thin brows is no longer the trend, it is now thick or even bushy brows.

She offers an in depth, step by step process on how to tint your brows at home, something many people might intimidating, including multiple photos of a model doing to process as well as the products used.

Just a taste of what you will see.

Without the photos I think the process would be hard to follow. I have had my eyebrows tinted before at a spa but I have never done it at home, maybe I will try it using her process and let you know how it goes, fingers crossed!

Sarah Howard, also known as, BeautyBanter, also recently posted about the brow craze in her post, Weekly Must-Have: L’Oreal Brow Stylist Shape and Fill Pencil.

“This drugstore find is my current go-to for nighttime filling and styling (plus my brow gel of choice) — when I want to create a statement brow.”- Sarah. 

The main picture she uses is of Lily Collins who is an actress, known for her roles in Mirror Mirror and The Mortal Instruments but also for her bold brows.

Sarah compares this drugstore product to the Tom Ford brow brow sculpture which is $59 compared to the $10 L’Oreal pencil.

BeautyBanter’s focus is not only better for you products, it is all thing beauty, with that said, I wanted include the ingredients for anyone interested.

Diisostearyl Malate, Triethylhexanoin, C20-40 Acid, C20-40 Alcohols, Synthetic Wax, Polyethylene, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Ethylene/Propylene Copolymer, Ethylcellulose, Boron Nitride, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Zinc, Tocopherol, Silica, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tin Oxide, May Contain (+/-): Iron Oxides, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Ultramarines, Bismuth Oxychloride, Aluminum Powder, Bronze Powder, Ferric Ferrocyanide, Carmine

Honest Beauty has an eyebrow pencil that is similar to the L’Oreal one and is $15 instead of the $10 that I will link here- Brow Filler (currently out of stock)



This post was a fun one for me to create and I would love to know your thoughts, should I do more like this in the future?


Revlon vs. Honest Beauty

For this post I will be reviewing and comparing ingredients in similar lip products from Revlon and Honest Beauty.

They can both be found in stores like Target and Ulta. Revlon is more affordable and is labeled as a drug store brand with makeup products ranging from $3.00- $12.00.

Honest Beauty, even though it can be purchased at the drug store, is more expensive with makeup products ranging from $18.00-$35.00 and claims to be made with much cleaner and better for you ingredients.

Fun Fact– Honesty Beauty was founded and created by actress Jessica Alba in 2011.

In a TeenVogue interview with Emily Geynor, Alba states-

“I got the idea as a first-time parent. I had an allergic reaction to a product and I did research. I found out there are a lot of potentially harmful chemicals in everyday products, from laundry detergent to beauty products to personal care products.” 

On to the review:

Fun Fact- You can ingest up to 8 pounds of lip product throughout your lifetime.

Honest Beauty: Truly Kissable Lip Crayon 

ClaimsMade without parabens, paraffins, silicones, talc, petrolatum, mineral oil, or synthetic fragrances, dermatologist tested and no testing on animals

Ingredients Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Silica, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax (Euphorbia Cerifera Cera, Cire De Candelilla), Beeswax (Cera Alba, Cire d’Abeille), Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Cire de Carnauba), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedwax, Pyrusmalus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Rubusidaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Water (Aqua, Eau), Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Triethyl Citrate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Alcohol. May Contain +/-: Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Carmine (CI 75470), Iron Oxides (CI 77491/77492/77499), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 9140), Mica (CI 77019)

Revlon: ColorBurst Matte Balm 

Claims– None (I believe they still test on animals, could not find exact information), if cruelty-free is important to you check out


Ingredients– Isononyl Isononanoate, Trioctyldodecyl Citrate, , Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Silica, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Paraffin, Polyethylene, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Synthetic Wax, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Octyldodecanol, Cera Alba ((Beeswax) Cire D’Abeille), BHT, Benzoic Acid. May Contain/Peut Contenir [+/-: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, 77492, 77449), Yellow 5 Lake (Cl 19140), Red 6 Lake (Cl 15850), Red 7 Lake (Cl 15850:1), Blue 1 Lake (Cl 42090), Yellow 6 Lake (Cl 15985), Red 33 Lake (Cl 17200), Red 28 Lake (Cl 45410)].

Both lip balms are very similar in product, design and packaging. If the brand names were taken away they would look like the same product.

One of the main differences I noticed when looking through the ingredients list is the Revlon product has more at the beginning that concern me, words that I have no idea how to pronounce much less know what they mean.

I will reviewing the first 5-7 ingredients from each list because the higher up the more predominant.

Another thing to keep in mind when I went to the official Revlon website I could not view the ingredients but when I looked up the same product on the ingredients were listed. I thought that interesting.

Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Crayon:

  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: derived from coconut oil and glycerin, works as an emollient, dispersing agent and solvent- Level 1, low health concern on EWG’s Skin Deep list 
  • Simmondsia Chinensis: Scientific name for jojoba, natural ingredient derived from the seeds of the desert shrub- Level 1, Skin Deep list
  • Silica: mineral found naturally in sandstone, clay and granite, amorphous silica is safe for use in cosmetics- Level 1-2, depending on usage, skin deep
  • Euphorbia Cerifera, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera, Cire De Candelilla: Candelilla wax is extracted from a shrub native to Mexico- Level 1, skin deep 
  • Cera Alba, Cire d’Abeille, Beeswax: purified wax produced by the honeycomb of the bee (ingredient is listed in the PETA’s Caring Consumer guide as a substance of animal origin.)- Level 1, skin deep 

Revlon ColorBlast Matte Balm:

  • Isononyl Isononanoate: synthetic skin conditioning agent, emollient, skin smoothing- Level 1, skin deep 
  • Trioctyldodecyl Citrate: synthetic skin conditioning agent based on citric acid and octyldodecanol (a long chain branched alcohol), high concern of irritation for skin, eyes, and lungs but Level 1, skin deep 
  • Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate: synthetic skin conditioning agent- Level 1, skin deep 
  • Silica: mineral found naturally in sandstone, clay and granite, amorphous silica is safe for use in cosmetics- Level 1-2, depending on usage, skin deep
  • Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2: lipid-based synthetic skin conditioning agent- Level 1 ( no data) 

I wanted to add one more ingredient from the revlon label, for some reason when I saw it I got a red flag.

The 7th ingredient of Paraffin: a solid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum with moderate concerns for organ toxicity, limited data- Level 1, skin deep 

Petroleum is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is present in certain rock strata and can be extracted and refined to produce fuels including gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil.


Honest Beauty vs. Revlon Lip Balms:

After going through and reading about some of the top listed ingredients in each product the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm does raise more concerns.

4 of the top 5 ingredients contain the word synthetic in its description which means that it is made by chemical synthesis to imitate natural products.

There is product that is obtain from petroleum in this product and it is a product that is put on the lips. When you think about it, it is disturbing to think something like that is meant for that ares of the body.

I keep thinking about how people lick their lips and whatever is on there will be ingested.

The Honest Beauty does contain natural ingredients like jojoba and other plants derivatives.

I like that Honest Beauty gives the scientific names but also the general names of its’ ingredients making it easier for consumers to understand what they are purchasing and showing more honesty.

The silica could be replaced with a better ingredient and the use of Beeswax is questionable because of the claim to be cruelty-free. I am not aware of the details or regulations with that claim.


Ingredients in Makeup to Avoid

When looking at ingredients labels with any kind of product it is important to note that they are listed in order of most predominant to least predominant. Many makeup products have aqua or water listed first.


For anyone like me who has sensitive skin, fragrance is one of the main ingredients to avoid. Especially for anything that is used on the face where skin is much more sensitive and delicate, specifically around the eye area. Fragrances are cocktails of many different chemicals and ingredients that are not listed individually so there is no way to know what is being put on the skin. I know I have had instances when I have put a product, like concealer, around my eyes and it had started to burn. If the burning sensation happens, First of all, Ouch! second of all, take it off! and third of all, throw away or return it and get your money back.

If you have a skin condition like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, etc. fragrance is something that should be avoided completely. It is one of the most irritating and allergenic ingredients that can cause hives, asthma flare-ups, breakouts, rash, etc. causing the skin the be at more sensitive state and more susceptible to sun damage indoors and outdoors.

Fragrance is in many products like body care, hair care, skin care and makeup but really has no reason to be put in a skin care or makeup. It has zero benefits and it gets me wondering if the companies are trying to cover something else up because if not, why put it in there?


Alcohol refers to a group of organic compounds that come in a broad range of forms. They help ingredients penetrate into the skin more effectively by breaking down the surface layers of the skin, which is not wanted when it comes to makeup. Makeup is not meant to be penetrated into the skin, it is meant to cover the outer most layer.

Alcohols with high-molecular-weight are good for the skin and alcohols with low-molecular-weight are bad for the skin but alcohols are considered benign, like glycols, which simply help hydrate and help deliver ingredients to the skin, mainly helpful in skin care products.

Low-molecular-weight alcohols can greatly irritate the skin and cause sensitivity.

Some main alcohols to avoid: ethanol or ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol and benzyl alcohol 

Denatured or SD alcohol are considered to be broadly toxic, immediately harming the skin starting a chain reaction of damage even after the product has evaporated.

The main concern with the alcohols listed, is when one or more of them is placed higher on the ingredients label.


A lot more products are being put on the market that are labeled paraben free and I have heard they are harmful but I have never known the reason why until now.

Parabens are any of a group of compounds that are used as preservatives in pharmaceutical, cosmetics and the food industry. Some of the most commonly used in the cosmetics industry are:

methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben

Most products contain more than one paraben on its’ ingredient list and often are paired with other types of preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold within products, which sounds like it is a good thing but parabens contain estrogen like properties that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

The chemicals are absorbed into the skin and have been found in biopsy samples of breast tumors. It has also been linked to skin cancer and decreased sperm count.

Polyethylene (Plastic):

Polyethylene is the most commonly and globally used form of plastic in the world and is in products like toothpaste, scrubs, makeup and body wash.

You know those itty bitty beads that are in exfoliating lip and body scrubs, yes those, they are actually polyethylene beads, plastic beads.

Originally used because they are supposed to be gentler on the skin than natural exfoliators.

This common plastic that is used on our lips, face and body can contain potentially toxic manufacturing contaminants like 1,4-dioxane which is a solvent and synthetic chemical that can cause sensations of vertigo, headache, drowsiness and irritation of skin, eyes, throat, nose and lungs.

The U.S. government considers it likely to be a human carcinogen that easily penetrates the skin and is part of group B2 on the probable human carcinogen list, meaning there is sufficient evidence through animal bioassay data but limited human evidence.

Polyethylene is in products that can and is ingested through our mouths and straight into our bodies, it blows my mind that these types ingredients are allowed in consumer products.

Hello Glow would be a good place check out if you are looking for more insight with this subject.

Petroleum Distillates:

A flamable liquid that is found in mascaras, it is colorless with a gasoline like smell, sounds like something you want close to your eyes, right?

Petroleum-extracted cosmetics ingredients can cause allergic reactions or contact dermatitis and often contain cancer causing substances.

They are produced in oil refineries and more than half of the toxicity tests “required” to assess chemical safety have not been conducted for this ingredient and has been banned from use in cosmetics by the European Union but is still in products sold in the U.S.

Some of these products include: CoverGirl Professional Waterproof Mascara, Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara, CoverGirl Katy Kat Eye Waterproof  Mascara, CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara and more 

CoverGirl has multiple mascaras that contain this ingredient, if you have the time look through the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, it is a great resource.