Hi, I'm Natalia, an organic beauty consultant, brand ambassador and education manager at Okoko Cosmetiques. Allow me to share my story. My personal journey that led me into becoming a passionate healthy living and clean beauty advocate all started from my adolescence. I have always loved beauty including doing makeup and hair, using skincare products and experimenting with different looks. By the time I was 17 I had graduated from a hairdressing course and had become an apprentice at a beautiful European hair salon in Vancouver. It was here that my foundational technical knowledge of beauty care really took off. I was young and very eager to learn about all things cosmetic related to maintain my outer appearance, and although that part of my life was flourishing, on the flip side my physical health was rapidly declining. I had an addiction to sugary and fast foods and I never took it seriously. I had constant acne breakouts that I thought was just normal for my skin type. I used drug store and conventional makeup to cover it up, but it never went away entirely. It was the summer of 2003 when I remember that everything changed. I was eating about 3-4 fast food burgers a week and one night I remember coming home and feeling extremely sick to my stomach. I brushed it off as just a bug, but after weeks of not feeling better I went to see numerous doctors which unfortunately did not help get to the root cause or symptoms I was experiencing which included constant nausea, acid reflux, pain, exhaustion and the inability to keep my food down. I still hadn’t really changed the quality of my diet other either. I now feel that because my health and immune system was already weak from the constant sugar intake and processed foods, that whatever infection I had just took a beating on me and the strong medications for the illnesses and conditions I did not end up having only made things worse and prolonged the illness.
After having had numerous tests and taking countless medications that didn’t work, I hit a breaking point after more than a year of no resolution! I decided to take my health into my own hands and just began to research extensively into alternative natural treatments, proper nutrition, preventive healthcare. This led me to learn about the North American food & big pharma industries that so often are not invested in our overall well being but solely on profit. This was a completely eye opening time for me as I was shocked to learn about what I was putting into my body and the detrimental harm the strong medications, habitual processed foods and sugar I was eating was to my health. I immediately cleaned up my diet and began eating whole organic foods, eliminated fast food and processed sugars and began using natural remedies to reboot my health back into balance. Within weeks of this new lifestyle my symptoms greatly improved and I felt so much better. I felt so empowered that the knowledge I had acquired was changing my quality of life and was allowing me to gain my health back.
This passion and awareness about my health crossed over into my beauty routine shortly afterwards because I saw how everything was connected. If I was eating clean and eliminating toxins from my food, it only made sense that what I was putting onto my skin would be as equally important with my skincare, makeup and hair care. A dear friend of mine who is a knowledgeable esthetician began to educate me on using makeup that would be healthy for my skin, vs using products that would just clog my pores and exacerbate my acne prone skin. Once I made the switch to using more mineral based natural makeup I never looked back. My skin quality changed dramatically with the combination of healthy eating and higher quality cosmetics. I was able to maintain gorgeous results and not have to compromise my health by using products filled with chemicals that were not known to be safe to my health nor be beneficial to my skin. I also switched to using more natural yet effective skincare and hair care brands. My acne flare ups were no longer an issue which I was so grateful for.
As the years went by I only became more passionate about healthy living and clean beauty and would always continue to research from a place of empowerment and awareness versus fear. I still enjoy my occasional sweets and treats but it is in moderation to a predominantly whole food gluten free diet.
There is always so much to learn from health experts and others who have regained their health back from severe conditions by changing their diet & lifestyles. I couldn’t help but want to share what I was learning with others around me so that they too would feel empowered to make more informed choices. At the very same time I had also become an educator for a more holistic hair care brand that recognized the importance of overall internal health in order to maintain healthy hair. Everything beautifully fell into place and aligned.
After having my son which made me see the bigger picture and impact this lifestyle choice had on others around me, I felt the need to start a blog. In starting my blog I quickly connected with like minded people in several communities and it’s awesome!
I began doing freelance clean beauty consulting and makeup artistry at an eco beauty boutique. This led me to meet wonderful people like Oyeta from Okoko Cosmetiques that is advanced artisanal organic skincare line. It’s important to me that the products I use deliver results and provide solutions my personal beauty needs. It doesn’t take long for me to determine when a product line works because I see the results in the health and appearance of my skin and I see it in others who use them as well. It is incredibly rewarding to see people’s lives change because of the quality of ingredients in the products that are shared in this ever growing community. After just a week of using Okoko Cosmetiques and seeing how m skin responded so well, I knew that I had found a gem in the organic skincare world and I felt i wanted to have a long term collaborative relationship with this exceptional skincare line.
It makes so much sense that the choices that you and I make today affects future generations in so many ways. By supporting more eco conscious brands with similar values it propels people to become more aware and creates tangible change in the economy and in the availability of choices in healthy home and self care products. Every year the amount of higher quality health oriented brands, foods and clean beauty products increases and so does the demand.
This is now about sharing a movement that is more than skin deep. It is about empowerment by providing healthy proactive choices to consumers, educating the public about the large ripple affects clean living has on the world and using conscious practices in business. Clean beauty and healthy living is not a fad, it is here to stay and will continue to expand as people see the short and long term results of choosing this lifestyle.
As 2018 begins I am extremely excited and proud to be a full team member of Okoko Cosmetiques and am looking forward to learn about skincare formulation by enrolling at Formula Botanica. This is something that will grow my confidence and knowledge about organic skincare formulation which is of such great value! I will certainly be sharing tips and answering more of your clean beauty inquiries as I learn from my colleagues and mentors, so stay tuned!