Saturday, April 25, 2015

Plump, Plump. Plump It Up!

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

Just the other day, I was talking about Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and today I am going to talk a little bit about another serum that I have been using in conjunction with my Hyaluronic Acid Serum: Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum. I swear, the older I get, the more steps I add to my daily skincare regimen. Hopefully these concoctions work together to keep me looking youthful, and aging gracefully. I'm so fortunate that I get to try so many serums out because if I was a consumer, I would not even now where to begin! So let me tell you a little bit about Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum.....

Niacinamide Vitamin B3 Serums are known for their ability to plump the skin via increasing collagen production. Vitamin B3 is known for it's ability to increase capillary dilation, which increases blood flow. This allows for skin cell repairs, which can give you a youthful glow. The Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum uses a 5% concentration of Vitamin B3 which also contributes to it's ability to shrink pores, fade dark spots and improve overall skin texture. I was most excited to get my hands on it because I also heard that it is good for acne-prone skin. I am always careful to research serums before I agree to review them because some are not intended for use if you have acne-prone skin. I am not willing to make my skin worse, so I always check first!

This serum is a light milky color, and absorbs quickly without ever being greasy. This actually leaves your skin looking matte, which I personally like, even though I add moisturizer after. The scent of this was a little strange to me, and I know this is going to sound odd, but it smells a little like chicken stock. I know that seems weird, but that was my experience. It is just a faint scent and I could only smell it when I rubbed it in. That being said, I definitely noticed a decrease in my pore size from using this serum, mostly on my nose, where they tend to be the most noticeable. I am very happy with that because that tends to be where I get the most blackheads, and smaller pores = fewer blackheads. As far as the reduction in wrinkles, I really don't have many wrinkles to reduce. I do have some fine lines on my forehead and between my brows I did not notice any reduction n those areas, but again, they are barely noticeable as is. Additionally, I only use this serum once per day. I found that it was a little drying on my skin, which is why I specifically paired it with a Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and moisturized too. My favorite thing about the Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum is the fact that I have not had a single cystic acne breakout since I began using it. If you've ever had cystic acne you will know why I am so thankful - it is extremely painful. This serum is also made cruelty-free and in the USA.

I've enjoyed using this serum, and give it 8 stars:

The Complete Skin Solutions Niacinamide Pure Vitamin B3 Serum can be purchased on Amazon HERE for a very reasonable price of $19.75 for a 1 ounce sized bottle. I use one pump per day, so it lasts a LONG time! As always, this price is not guaranteed and could change at any time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hyaluronic Acid Serum is My Jam

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

For some reason my skin has been changing. I used to have combination skin. My skin would be really, really oily in my T-zone and normal or dry in other areas of my face. Now I feel like I have chronically dry skin. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that my foundation and powder are full and medium coverage, respectively, and they both have a matte finish, which I feel sucks the oil right out of your pores before you even have a chance to produce it. It's very important, however, to keep your face hydrated, especially if you are trying to avoid premature aging, as proper moisturization keeps your face plump and less likely to wrinkle, or appear wrinkled. I have found that the one serum I use most frequently when I am suffering through repeated dry skin episodes is Hyaluronic Acid. I recently tried Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum, and I believe it has done a phenomenal job at keeping my stubborn skin hydrated.

I have tried a couple of different Hyaluronic Acid Serums, and each one is truly different than the next. I love that each brand makes theirs unique, and I honestly haven't come across one that I don't like. The Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum comes in a 2.0 ounce slim, airless pump-top bottle. It is clear in color, has a very clean, fresh scent and is made in the USA. This particular formula also contains retinol and Vitamins A, C, D and E. These ingredients work together to nourish the skin, promote elasticity, and provide healing. This is especially important to me because I have acne scarring and areas of darker pigmentation due to old marks. This serum is very light on the skin, so even if you use other products, this will not add "weight" to your face or clog your pores. This product is to be used after you have washed and toned your face, and before you moisturize.

While the Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum is touted to provide many benefits, I have found that in my short time of using it, that providing hydration is what it does best. Hyaluronic Acid in the second ingredient on the bottle, so it is in higher concentration than the other ingredients that provide other benefits such as wrinkle reduction, and pigmentation lighting. This is not to say that with continued use, I would not see these results. I, however, have only noticed an increase in my skin's ability to stay hydrated and not flaky, and I am 100% content with only that. I must also add that I use this once per day versus the suggested twice per day. Frequently, I stack this serum with other serums that dry me out so that I can counter their drying effects right from the get-go. Additionally, the Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum has never irritated or broken out my skin, which is a testament to it's gentleness.

I am a fan of Adeline Hyaluronic Acid Serum and recommend it with 8 stars:

If you are on the market for a Hyaluronic Acid Serum, you can find this one for $35.25 on Amazon HERE. This price may change at any time, so I am not responsible for those fluctuations.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Perfect Soap That's Perfectly Natural

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

I love when I get to work with brands on several of their products. My bathroom cabinets are filled with items that I have been given to try for review purposes, and most of them I am overly pleased with. I remember when I started doing this and I was terrified and felt like a guinea pig. Now I try to steer clear of products that are too similar and am slowly but surely working my way through my stash. One brand that I have dabbled extensively with is Foxbrim. I am such a huge fan of their products because they are 100% natural, and normally 98% organic. I feel good about using their products because they are formulated with quality ingredients and they are cruelty free. Most recently I tried the Foxbrim Perfectly Natural Soap.

Initially, I thought this was a hand soap, but come to find out it is a facial cleanser. That being said, I bet it could totally be used as a hand soap as well as a body wash. In fact, for people who wash their hands often, or who have extremely sensitive skin, I bet this soap would be a much better alternative than many contemporary soaps with harsh ingredients and added fragrances. One of the first thing you will notice about natural soaps is that it has a very muted and almost nonexistent scent. I am a huge fan of scents, although if I had to choose between synthetic fragrances or no fragrance, I would choose no scent 100% of the time. That being said, I have come across several natural and organic brands that have concocted beautiful scents with all natural ingredients. Nonetheless, if you want gentle, fragrance free is the way to be!

The Foxbrim Perfectly Natural Soap comes in a sturdy 8 oz sized bottle with a pump top. I find pump-tops to be so convenient on anything, and definitely prefer them. I mean seriously, isn't everything easier with a pump top? Plus, this soap is made with 8 ingredients that are all recognizable. My youngest has eczema so I encourage her to wash her hands with this, and her body too! Anything gentle is good n my book! I have used this to wash my face, and while it isn't my absolute favorite face wash ever, I was surprised at a few things. First, I love that it gets my face clean. I wear makeup almost everyday and it is important for me that I am able to use a face wash that gets it all off the first try. I have no desire to wash with 7 different washes in order to make sure my eye make-up and foundation have found their way down the drain with the water. Second, this does not strip my skin. I have been struggling all Winter to perfect my skincare routine to keep my skin properly hydrated, so I love that this does not strip my skin of it's natural moisture, while providing a deep clean.

I definitely recommend this Foxbrim Perfectly Natural Soap if you are seeking something affordable and natural. I give it a solid 8 stars:

You can purchase this directly from the Foxbrim website HERE, where it costs $15.99. Very reasonable for the size and the fact that it is all natural and organic. Be sure to check out their website to discover some of their other amazing products. I have tried many and can attest to the quality and effectiveness of them!

{Book Review} Dead Scary: The Ghost Who Refused to Leave by Sally Gould

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

I love to read. If I could spend a day responsibility-free, many, many hours of that day would be spent with my nose in a book. That being said, my almost 10 year old son despises it. I mean, where did I go wrong? And believe me when I say, we have tried everything. Part of his homework is to read each night for 30 minutes, so oftentimes I do this with him to make sure he actually does it help him if he struggles. I think it gives him some one-on-one time, and hopefully makes reading a little more enjoyable. I was recently given the opportunity to review a book geared toward kids ages 9-12: Dead Scary: The Ghost Who Refused to Leave by Sally Gould, so I figured we would give this a whirl.

My son has a Kindle, so I downloaded this as an e-book. It is, however, available in paperback form too. When we started this, I was so glad that it was immediately engaging. He really needs something to rope him in or he gets discouraged and worse, uninterested. The story is about a boy named Adam, whose family inherits any child's dream home. With a tennis court, a game room and swimming pool, what more could you ask for? Adam experiences an encounter with an "earthbound spirit" or a ghost who is claiming his ownership of the home that they live in, and just so happens to be the same age as Adam. Adam, just like his Grandpa George, is able to communicate with ghosts. That being said, the rest of his family isn't too keen on it, so they tend to keep it between themselves. This ghost, Edward Lawrence, lays down the rules of the house, which revolve heavily around not making any noise. The novels tells of a battle of epic proportions between the living and the ghosts.

Dead Scary: The Ghost Who Refused to Leave by Sally Gould has 147 pages, so it was a perfect sized book for my son. We were able to read it in about a week. My son agrees that it was age-appropriate and an interesting read for him. I think that the paranormal aspect of it is intriguing to older elementary/middle school kids. I remember being totally enamored by ghosts and "real ghost stories" when I was his age. Even to this day I love to hear about real life encounters with the paranormal. I appreciate that this book allowed my son to read without counting the minutes, or huffing and puffing.

If you are interested in this genre, you can purchase this book through Amazon HERE. It is currently $2.99. Prices on Amazon fluctuate constantly, so there is no telling if or when this price may change.

Natural Solution for Teething Babies

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

There has been a huge insurgence lately for the parents out there who are trying to expose their children to fewer chemicals and toxins. I mean, I think that ALL parents want to reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins their children come into contact with, unfortunately, they are everywhere and in everything. It's sad that we need to read labels so closely and learn to decipher the different ingredients to ensure that we are not pumping ourselves and our children full of harmful things. The being said, some have turned back to practices and products that have been used for eons. One of these things are Amber Necklaces. These are traditionally used for teething babies. I recently tried a KG Baby Amber Teething Necklace, and it has become such a staple.

My daughter will be turning 3 in nine days. She isn't really at the teething stage anymore, but I wish I would've known about Amber Teething Necklaces when she was. Instead of using the traditional pain reliever all you have to do is put an adorable necklace around their neck, and the natural Succinic Acid boosts the child's immune system while also relieving gum swelling. There are people on either side of this that will swear by them or say they don't work at all. I used one before when my daughter was getting her molars in and I thought that it certainly did help with moodiness and pain, but then again, she wouldn't have been able to verbalize this to me, so there is no way to be entirely sure. Nonetheless, I LOVE the way Amber Teething Necklaces look. I was devastated when we lost the last one that we had, and through the roof when I was given the opportunity to try the KG Baby Amber Teething Necklace.

The package that I received came with a 12-inch Amber Teething Necklace, a cute little pouch to hold it in, and a bonus teething pendant necklace too (for Mom-and I would totally wear this on it's own). The KG Baby necklaces are unique in that they are the only brand that is verified as authentic by the Gemological Institute of America. This ensures that you are getting real Amber and not some knock-off. These are also designed with safety in mind. The clasp screws in securely preventing the child from pulling it off or breaking it. Additionally, these necklaces are meant to be worn snuggly to eliminate the possibility of getting caught on something and choking the child - They come in 2 sizes: 12 inches, and 14 inches. Furthermore, there are two knots that surround each Amber bead. Therefore, if the necklace does snap, you aren't losing every bead on the necklace and therefore causing many potential choking hazards.

If you are interested in trying a natural and organic solution to your child's teething issues, or if you are like me and just like how cute and functional they are, you can purchase them through the KG website HERE (for $19.99), or from Amazon HERE (for $14.99).  As usual, these prices are subject to change at any time, and I have no control over that.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Mask Hoarders Anonymous Featuring Bellaboo

Disclosure: The item(s) mentioned below 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.

I've just come to accept my skincare hoarding tendencies. I have a desire to try everything, regardless of how similar it is to something I already own. For example, I have several different Dead Sea Mud Masks. I have found that even between brands there are differences between products. I think that just encourages my hoarding though. I convince myself that because this one has (fill-in-the-blank) ingredient, I need it! I have a routine when it comes to my masks, and I have acquired enough to use one per day for about two weeks straight without repeating. You could say I am a mask aficionado. So let me introduce to you the newest to make the cut into my mask routine: Bellaboo Clear Skin Smoothie Face Mask.

The Bellaboo line was created by a woman named Snezna with her daughter, Bella, in mind. What makes this line so one-of-a-kind is that it is geared toward tweens and young adults. Look at the adorable packaging! I can see it making it's place in the bedrooms and bathrooms of many all-girls slumber parties across the world. On top of that, the products are all formulated with 99.5% natural ingredients while being free of parabens, petrochemicals and sulphates. While it was formulated in Australia, this product is produced in the good old U.S. of A. This mask has a smooth formula with a flip cap which makes dispensing clean and easy. To use the mask, you slather it on (avoiding the eye area), wait for it to dry (you will feel it tighten), and wash it away to reveal fresh skin.

What really drew me to the Bellaboo Clear Skin Smoothie Face Mask was the fact that my skin often behaves like that of a teenager. I was also excited by the fact that Kaolin and Bentonite were at the top of the ingredient list. Kaolin and Bentonite are clays that are known for their ability to reduce oiliness, treat acne and clear out large or clogged pores. The mask smells botanical and mint-esque, not like toothpaste, but in a spa-like, relaxing way. I love using this mask and find that it helps with my constant battle with acne. I use it about once per week, typically while I am giving the little one a bath so I have the 10-15 minutes without her sticking her fingers in it. I appreciate that this does not strip my skin of it's moisture, but works to pull out the toxins, thus detoxifying and clearing up the problematic areas I have. It's gentle enough to use more often, but as I said, with my abundance of masks I tend to rotate through them, using the ones I prefer a little more often. Even more important, is the fact that this is very affordable. It comes in a 2.5 fluid ounce tube, and this retails for $9.99.

I truly enjoy the Bellaboo Clear Skin Smoothie Face Mask and recommend it highly with 10 stars:

If you or someone you know struggles with acne, you can grab this mask on Amazon HERE. You can see the entire collection of Bellaboo products on the Affinity Website HERE, and you'll want to because get this.... they have a Sweet Sin Chocolate Face Mask! As well as an entire skincare line, for affordable prices.

Review and Giveaway of NEW Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™

Disclosure: The Purex® brand provided me with a sample of Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™ in exchange for a product review. However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

I love the smell of fresh, clean laundry. This is not to say that I enjoy folding it or putting it away, however, if it smells divine, it makes those tedious chores more manageable. Plus, there are few things more satisfying than snuggling up with your family members, and smelling that their clothes are clean. At least if you are a fragrance freak, like me. Purex® is a brand that is innovative when it comes to fresh laundry, and their new line of Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™ proves it. This in-wash fragrance booster comes in 3 mood-enhancing scents including Fresh Spring Waters, Fresh Lavender Blossom and Fresh Mountain Breeze. These scents fall right in line with this time of year as everything "awakens" from the dullness that defines Winter here in New York.

I received the Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™ in the scent: Fresh Lavender Blossom. The first time I took a whiff of the liquid freshness I was immediately brought back to my grandmother's house when I was a kid. She used to hang her laundry out to dry on a line she had in her backyard. I remember how vibrant her laundry had smelled after it had been kissed by the sun. I always get excited when I find products that have a scent that brings forth a comforting memory. Recently, I washed my sheets, comforter and pillowcases using the Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™, and days later it still smells just as vibrant as the moment I pulled it out of the dryer!

Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™ is an effortless way to reduce laundry odors. You don't need to pour it into a special place, or add it at a special time, all you have to do is pour the in-wash scent booster directly to the water after your detergent (or before, whatever floats your boat)! This is easy for me because we still have an ancient top loader. In fact, our washer is older than me! There are measurements on the cap of the Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™, so you can decide how subtle or strong to boost the fragrance. I have found that a little really goes a long way, but again, that abides by my scent preferences. I love using this with towels, and think that they hold the scent so well. I feel that after awhile they get dingy and yucky smelling, but this immediately delivers a renewing scent that keeps them smelling fresh. 

I'm a big fan of the liquid freshness delivered by Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™, and highly recommend it with 10 stars: 

And..... Because Purex® is such a generous brand, they have provided me with three (3) coupons for a FREE bottle of Purex® Crystals ScentSplash™. Enter below to increase your odds, and as always, GOOD LUCK!

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