Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Vitamin C is Everywhere!

I feel like I have been talking about Vitamin C a lot lately. What used to be a supplement to take to help fight off a cold has quickly made it's way onto the beauty scene, and why not? Vitamin C offers several benefits to the entire body including it's amazing ability to boost immunity, but also in reducing inflammation and wrinkling of the skin. With so many anti-aging products out there with who knows what in them, I am happy to introduce Foxbrim's Vitamin C Lotion.

I have worked with Foxbrim in the past, and have such a love for all of the products I have tried. I wanted to get my hands on this lotion because I had so much luck using a Vitamin C serum to help keep blemishes and imperfections at bay, while also fading dark spots and acne scars. I also have Foxbrim's Vitamin C toner that I use as a companion to this. This Vitamin C Lotion uses a combination of natural and organic ingredients that help to combat several different skin issues. First, Vitamin C is used to boost collagen production and fight wrinkles. Aloe is used to bring oxygen to the skins cells while keeping your skin smooth. MSM encourages the maintenance of younger, more radiant skin. Jojoba oil act very much like the skin's own moisture and contributes to an even skin tone. And Green Tea gives the skin the ability to fight off enzymes that break down collagen and elastin. This little bottle packs a big punch!

The lotion comes in a convenient pump-top bottle. This makes dispensing so effortless. I'm such a fan of pump-tops. It's the small things, really! This lotion is creamy without being overly thick or hard to blend, and provides super moisturization. During the Winter I need the benefits of a heavy moisturizing cream without feeling like I have a shield over my face, and this does just that. I would be perfectly content using this in the warmer months too because it just doesn't feel heavy whatsoever. It has no real smell, and would work for all skin types due to the non-irritating ingredients. I struggle with acne and this has not caused breakouts - another thumbs up. I enjoy using this as a facial moisturizer, however, it can also be used on your entire body. The bottle is only 1.7 fluid ounces, so it probably wouldn't last too long if you were using it everywhere, but the one thing I have found with natural products is that a little goes a long way! Where I would use a dime sized amount of moisturizer, I now use a pea-sized amount. 

This is an item I will use to the last pump, and then buy again. Finding a moisturizer that does what it should and doesn't break me out or make me look greasy isn't always easy to come by. For that, I give the Foxbrim Vitamin C Lotion 10 stars:

If you are on the market for a new moisturizer, or are trying to make small steps to becoming "greener", you can purchase your Vitamin C Lotion HERE. It is currently on sale for $14.95 which is a pretty steep discount. As with all things Amazon, you never know when prices will fluctuate and change so there is no guarantee that this price will last.

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were provided complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The opinions stated here are based upon my personal experience with the product(s) and are entirely my own. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I feel would benefit my readers.

Pomegranate in Oil Form

I thoroughly enjoy learning about new beauty products...Like I may have a problem...Fortunately, I have enough storage space in the closet to store all of the goodies I get to test out, and a best friend that gladly takes some of the overflow. This next oil that I got to try out was something entirely new to me though. Have you ever heard of Pomegranate Seed Oil? Me either...

Beauty Oils is a brand that makes a number of oils meant to treat your skin. And I was quite amused by their "logo": "Fragrance Free. Preservative Free. Cruelty-Free. Vegan. All good." I think that products like this truly appeal to quite a crowd these days. It seems as though many people are waking up and educating themselves on the chemicals and toxins that are in just about every conventional store purchase they make. So here is what makes Pomegranate Seed Oil such a wonderful product to have on hand: it is full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids. These protect your skin from free radicals, cushion it against signs of aging all while promoting cell regeneration. It is recommended to use for dry, stressed and aging skin. I suffer dry skin this time of year, so it came at just the right time!

I received the 1 ounce size bottle of Beauty Oils 100% Pure Pomegranate Seed Oil. They are also available in a 2 ounce size and a 4 ounce size. I was interested to see what it would smell like, and was actually surprised to see (or smell) that it was unscented. I'm still getting used to the switch to safer products, and sometimes still expect the fake fragrance that many products have. I love when I can find a truly all-natural product that smells great, but for something that goes on my face, I'm good with no scent. I find that this goes on and looks a little greasy, but it does absorb completely so it's nothing you have to battle with. I have found that this helps keep my face from getting dry. This is such a struggle for me because I find that dry skin makes my make-up look awful, and I can't have that..... I have also been (when I remember) using this on my daughter's eczema, as it is helpful on irritating conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and sunburn.

This oil does a great job at doing exactly what it says it will, and it has only one ingredient: 100% Pure Pomegranate Seed Oil. I definitely recommend this oil, and give it 8 stars:

My only complaint is dispensing the product. The bottles themselves are hard and dark in color which I assume is to keep the product inside safe and effective. The top is a press-top dispenser, which is great when you have squeezable bottles. I put a lot of effort into getting just a drop or two out and often have to resort to tapping it pretty hard on my hand to get it to come out. It is easier just to twist off the top to use it.

If you wish to purchase this oil, you can do so HERE. The 1 ounce size retails for $10.95, so you don't even have to break the bank! If you are interested to see their entire library of products, you can check out their website, or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and You Tube.

Disclosure: The item(s) discussed above were provided complimentary for review purposes. The opinions stated here are honest and entirely my own.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Scrub, Scrub, Scrub Your....Face!

I am a lover of all things skin care, and have been dabbling in at-home treatments. Many treatments performed at a dermatologists office or spa are very expensive, and unfortunately it is not something that my family can afford on a regular basis. They tend to be a rare treat. I tend to get uncomfortable with strangers touching my body anyway so I am always on the lookout for at-home treatments. As the Winter blah takes over, I am happy that I got to try Erase by Luxurience, which is a Premium Microdermabrasion Scrub.

The scrub comes in a beautiful heavy jar, and is a nice seafoam-ish color. It smells very refreshing, like cucumber and clean water. It's hard to describe, but it is nice, relaxing and not overdone. It also has a gel-like consistency with tiny beads to do the scrubbing. My package also came with a mall bottle of moisturizer that I use after the scrub. It has a minty scent and provides a nice cooling sensation after the treatment. It is suggested to use this Microdermabrasion Scrub 2-3 times per week to keep dead skin at bay, thus keeping your complexion looking radiant. You apply it to damp skin and rub around for 1-2 minutes. I tend to use a nickle-sized amount when I do my treatments, and I make sure that my skin is clean of any make-up, although this was never instructed. It has been an absolute cinch to add this to my beauty routine with zero complications. If you feel that you do not have the extra minute or two, start out using it once per week and move up from there.

While most people do not exfoliate everyday, it is important to do so frequently to keep dead skin accumulation at bay. Dead skin cells are the main culprit for dull skin, wrinkles and blackheads. Exfoliating also works to ensure that those pricey serums and moisturizers you use actually get absorbed to do those wonderful things that they can do. Microdermabrasion helps with all of that. I have enjoyed the spa-like quality of the Erase by Luxurience Premium Microdermabrasion Scrub. It is gentle enough to use a couple times per week, but strong enough for you to notice immediate results. My face was super-soft after my first use. That just goes to show how well my traditional practices are working. I also like to hope that using this prior to my Vitamin C Serum is what has helped clear up my persistent cystic acne. Over time I hope to reap the acne-scar-diminishing-powers that Microdermabrasion is claimed to hold.

So, if you are looking to bring a little bit of the spa into your home, I highly recommend the Erase by Luxurience Premium Microdermabrasion Scrub with 9 stars:

You can purchase it on Amazon HERE. It is currently 55% off and costs $31.49. This price is likely a Holiday promotion and probably won't stick around for long.

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned above were complimentary for the purpose of an honest review. The thoughts and experiences expressed are completely my own.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Whiter Teeth with Dr. Song

Having a vibrant, white smile is such a priority to me. I am a coffee drinker, so the white, bright smile struggle is real. For a long time I was oil-pulling, and it does such an amazing job at whitening teeth slowly and naturally. I stopped doing it when the product I used was out of stock for a while due to distribution issues. During that time, some of the staining resurfaced, and as much as  love white teeth, I NEED my coffee. About a month ago I was given the opportunity to try out the Dr. Song Home Professional Teeth Whitening Kit, which came at just the right time!

The Dr. Song Home Professional Teeth Whitening Kit comes with everything shown above: 8 tubes with 3 mL each of the whitening solution (48+ applications of a 44% Carbamide Peroxide solution), 1 brush for applying the gel, 3 thermoform teeth trays for easy application and 1 LED light to speed up the whitening process. Shortly after ordering, I was e-mailed instructions, as the set itself does not come with them. Everything is very straight-forward and simple. If you wish to mold the trays to your teeth, you boil water, place them in the slightly cooled boiled water for a couple of seconds, and then mold them to your teeth by placing them in your mouth. When you have clean teeth, you dispense .5mL of solution into a bowl and use the brush to paint your teeth, avoiding the gum area to prevent sensitivity and discoloration. Once you are finished painting the upper and lower teeth, you insert the trays to keep the product in place. Warning: this stuff gets foamy, and it is going to get on your gums anyway which can cause a burning sensation. Sometimes I would "paint" only half way up my teeth so when the trays go in, it pushes it enough to cover my teeth without having too much on my gums. Next, you turn on the LED light and use that for the first 15 minutes. The instructions are kind of vague, and say that you can whiten from 15 minutes to 4 hours depending on the results you are trying to achieve and how sensitive your teeth and gums are. I'm not sure who has 4 hours out of everyday to lend to whitening their teeth, but more power to them! I would always do the 15 minutes with the light, and then try to stick it out for an hour. When you have kids, it is difficult to not have access to proper pronunciation for too long.

I have semi-sensitive teeth so I was thrilled when I was also sent a Dr. Song Remineralization Kit to relieve any sensitivity caused by the whitening process. This is just as simple to use, and really helps to take the edge off of the *zing* that teeth whitening can cause. Due to my slight tooth sensitivity, there were some days that I skipped to give my teeth a break. I have had to do this same thing with other over-the-counter whitening treatments too, so this product is no different. Know yourself, and proceed accordingly. I am pretty pleased with the results though. Here is a comparison of before and 3 weeks later:

I found that the results came slow, but it worked! And slow is a relative term. Some of the strip-style products give you noticeable results in just one or two uses. I found that this was slightly more gradual, but not in a bad way. Plus, there is so much product that I intend to use the rest of it once I notice the staining making a reappearance. You really only need a small amount, and it is good for 12 months. If you just have mild staining, you could get away with buying one kit and using it throughout the year. If your staining is more severe, I imagine that you would need to use the whole kit or until your desired results are obtained. I do not have severely stained teeth so I cannot speak to that. What makes this a great value is the number of applications you get for the price. 48+ applications for $34.99. This is very reasonable in the teeth whitening market.

I had a good experience with the Dr. Song Home Professional Teeth Whitening Kit and give it 8 stars:

If you wish to purchase your own, you may do so HERE for $34.99. You will receive everything shown in the first picture. If you have sensitive teeth, I would also suggest you get the Dr. Song Remineralization Kit which you can buy HERE for $9.99.

Disclosure: The item(s) discussed above were provided complimentary for review purposes. The opinions stated here are honest and entirely my own.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Cacao Never Tasted So Good!

I don't always love Winter. Here in Upstate New York, snow and cold can get old pretty fast. I feel that for the Holiday season it is a necessary evil, but otherwise, I find myself just waiting it out for warmer, more pleasant weather. That being said, I bake like no other this time of year if for no other reason then to keep warm! I'm always looking to try new recipes, bake new goodies, or discover new ingredients. Most recently, I have discovered some truly delicious Pure, Raw Cacao Powder from Freedom Superfoods.

First and foremost let me tell you about my love affair with chocolate. More like a dependency actually.... I will eat anything chocolate, and chances are, I will eat more of it hen I am finished. I just love the stuff. When we are out of chocolate, WATCH OUT, I will be in rare form. My mom, knowing of this obsession, gave me a recipe to try, which also gave me the opportunity to use my new Pure, Raw Cacao Powder! I heard no complaints about getting goodies due to a review item.

What is great about the Freedom Superfoods Pure, Raw Cacao Powder is that it is USDA certified organic. It is also free of sugars, additives, preservatives, carriers and processing aids. This says to me that I am getting a product that is good for my family, and myself. This particular Cacao Powder is packed with many essential nutrients, including: Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Copper. These minerals are highly alkalizing which results in keeping you healthy, and therefore happy. It smells amazing, and tastes wonderful in recipes. If you are at a loss for the number of things you can create with cacao powder, you will receive a free recipe book with purchase to get you inspired. I'm looking forward to creating more goodies as the season progresses - next up will be crinkle cookies, they are one of my faves!

I found the Freedom Superfoods Pure, Raw Cacao Powder to be wonderful, and I highly recommend it with 10 stars:

If you wish to purchase your own 1 pound bag, you can do so HERE for only $14.97. Be sure to check out Freedom Superfoods website for more information on the products that they offer, and keep up with the business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My New Favorite Coffee Mate - Featuring the Mira Insulated Bottle

I get the opportunity to review MANY items, and to be fair, I give my honest opinion, including aspects of items that I feel will be beneficial to consumers in general. If there is a product I do not care for, I simply will not purchase it, or re-purchase it, but as a blogger it is my duty to spew information based on my experiences, so that everyone out there in the cyber world can make better informed purchasing decisions. There are many items that I like, will use and will enjoy using, some that I downright despise, and others that I feel indifferent about. This next one, is one of my favorites, EVER.

See, I am a lover of coffee. My LIFE does not start in the morning until that first cup is pumping through my veins, my stomach, or whatever. I barely talk to anyone until that has gone on. I just do not feel alive or capable enough to deal with anything until I have had my first cup. After that, I can conquer the world. Now, keep n mind that I have a 9 year old who I need to get ready for school each morning, and a 2 year old who is pretty clingy with her Mama. Mornings can get hectic between packing lunch, snacks, making sure papers are signed and hats and gloves are on, teeth are brushed and breakfast is had. I have found myself warming up my cup of coffee three or four times in a morning before I can finish it. That is, until the Mira Stainless Steel flask came into my life.

I'm not going to lie.... I initially thought that it was a tad small. And it is, compared to your traditional travel mug. The Mira Stainless Steel Flask holds 11 ounces. This equals out to be pretty much exactly how much coffee I pour into each mug of it that I drink, so I am beyond pleased with it. This baby saves me from needing to heat up my coffee 759728754802 times per morning. I have not had to warm up my coffee even once sine I began using this. It keeps my coffee piping hot to the last sip, whether that is 5 minutes after I pour it, or 2 hours. It is easy to clean, easy to use, and it's cute! I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it.

I highly recommend this Mira Stainless Steel Flask with 10 stars:

If you are interested in purchasing one for yourself, you can do so HERE where they are currently $12.95. Amazon prices fluctuate often, so it may change again.  

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Squeaky Clean Pups Are The BEST!

There is nothing more disappointing than walking into a home and knowing that the house inhabits animals just by the way it smells. I take great strides to ensure that our animals live with us without making their scent known to the world. One thing that helps is (shocker here folks): bathing them. This becomes quite a task when the dog you own is almost 100 pounds, but hey, at least he is cute! I had the opportunity to try out a new-to-me dog shampoo (on my dog of course!), and it's amazing! It is called I Love My Dog, Dog Shampoo by Lovely Fresh.

Our super cute lab Remington
I prepared myself pretty well when we decided we were going to get a puppy. I wanted a big breed, a family dog and something with short hair. If it is going to shed, I need it to be dark and short. So, of course, we got a black labrador retriever. You know what information I must have bypassed throughout my research? The fact that these dogs have the worst skin issues EVER. My dog itches his head off in the Summer from who knows what, and then suffers dry skin all Winter long.... It turns into a vicious cycle because the itching leads to scabs which leads to more itching and more scabs, and so on and so forth. Washing can sometimes heighten the problem, so we have to be careful not to bathe the pup too much. One thing I noticed about the I Love My Dog, Dog Shampoo, is that it works well at drying out his skin after bathing.

The first thing I noticed about this shampoo was that it smells soooooo good. Most dog shampoos smell strange or indifferent, but this one really smells good. Like sweet candy. And who doesn't want their dog to smell absolutely divine? On top of that, the ingredients, including oatmeal and neem oil are formulated to moisturize and soothe dry, itchy skin, while leaving them clean, fresh and relieved without the use of harsh soap. What is even more important is that this product will not reduce the efficiency of flea and tick preventative treatments.

If you have an itchy, scratchy dog, or just a dog that you bathe at home, I highly recommend the Lovely Fresh I Love My Dog, Dog Shampoo with 10 Stars:

Right now  you can purchase this item for $14.95 HERE - take note that this price is subject to change at any time. To keep up with Lovely Fresh and any new products (or promotions) they have for your four-legged family members you can check them out on their website, Facebook or Instagram

Disclosure:I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.