Friday, February 28, 2014

Skin Care Update

I promised I would update on my skin care routine and how it was working out so.... here it is!  Pretty much LUSH's Skincare saved my face... literally.  Check out the video update below!


Supportive Mommy

I'm always looking to add to this blog.  Yes, I love cosmetics, makeup, beauty products and fashion; BUT I also love to bring awareness to companies, products, organizations, etc that I think are unique or great causes. Soooo I've decided to start a feature doing just that.  Every now and then I will do a post like this one just to change it up from my regular beauty/fashion/mommy posts.

And the first to be featured?  A product called the FunHaler.






This unique and fun inhaler is perfect for kids.  We all know special medical needs can be a hassle, this is especially true for kids.  They usually don't understand why they have to do something they don't necessarily want to do, especially if others don't want have to do it as well.  This is where the FunHaler comes into play. This design takes a boring inhaler to another level.  The inhaler becomes something kids look forward to using- like a toy, maybe even a buddy.

I asked the people behind the FunHaler, FunMed,  what made them think of such a great idea.  And the answer is simple...they experience the difficulties of having a young child use an inhaler first hand.   The design of this product is more than just fun.  The design also accommodates the small hands and fingers of a child, making it easier and more comfortable for them to use.

Once the FunHaler receives the support to start production, more animals and designs will be researched and available as different options.

To learn more and support the FunHaler click here.

FunMed has also partnered with DrSocial to raise $100,000 for Asthma Research.  To find out more information on how you can help and how you can be entered to win $500 click here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's Here! Beauty Haul Giveaway!

 Because my birthday month is coming up, I've decided to do a random beauty haul giveaway!  One lucky winner will win all of the products pictured below!




Enter below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Its Time To Say Goodbye....To Ipsy

Yep! It finally happened! I cancelled my Ipsy subscription.  And while I will miss getting my beauty bag present every month, I think its for the best.  I found that I wasn't really using a lot o the products I received and wasn't even that excited over getting the bags anymore.  So it was time to move one.  I do think that this is an excellent subscription for teens and women who are just getting in to makeup and looking for their style.  Its only $10 a month and you definitely get more than your moneys worth.


Check out my LAST Ipsy review in the video below!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fit Mommy Part 2

I very rarely post fitness related posts.

Why?

Because I am not a fitness junkie.  Yes, I try to live an active, healthy lifestyle... but it's not super fun for me.

Before my son was born, I would stay in shape my going to the gym.  I went regularly, several times a week... and hated every moment of it.  I would basically count down the minutes until I could leave.  A few months after my son was born I tried going back to the gym to do my normal routine and... I just couldn't.  Now that I had a child, I very rarely had any time to myself.  So an hour of my time being all mine... was precious.  And I couldn't spend that time doing something I despised.

During my pregnancy I bought a bunch of prenatal exercise DVDs.  The only one I did consistently was Ruah's Long & Lean Prenatal DVD.  It was the only one I did... because it was the only one I liked.  The workouts were a little challenging but not difficult to the point where I wanted to quit.  The exercises also relaxed me, kept me engaged, and made me feel refreshed instead of the usual exhausted.  I LOVED the Prenatal Stretch and Relaxation segment.  I also used the Postnatal Workout at the end of the video to start to get my belly back.  Its important to BE CAREFUL with exercises right after having a baby, if you do too much or do the wrong movements, you could end up making things worse for your belly.  That's why I recommend sticking to workouts that are specifically postnatal for awhile.

So once I realized I could never go back to my gym routine, I started looking for DVDs by Ruah that I could do at home.  I also realized I loved walking my son outside.  He loves being outside, I get to spend time with him, and the long walks are great for exercise and fresh air.

I found 2 DVDs that I now switch between.  One is Ruah's Release, which is a yoga/pilates hybrid that is more about feeling great while exercising than sculpting particular body parts.  The segments also range from about 10 - 15 minutes long.


Once I was getting tired of that one, I went to Suzanne Bowen's 10 Minute Solution: Perfect Pilates Body.  I really love this one.  Each segment is 10 minutes long, so I can easily fit it into my schedule.  I also started seeing results within a week.  My favorite segment is the Pilates Perfect Silhouette.  I like that it encourages keeping your curves and works on tightening and toning them.  There is also something about Suzanne Bowen's instruction that I just like more than any other video exercise instructor.  I like that while instructing she seems understanding "You may need to use a chair here for balance... and that's ok."  Or "Your leg may be a little bent.  That's ok. You will be able to straighten it out once you get stronger- and you will"  Thank you. Thank you for understanding you are exceptionally fit and most women... can't do this stuff perfectly right away.

 I pretty much get my cardio through my mommy lifestyle.  Walking my son in his stroller multiple times daily, chasing him around, and playing outside with him is plenty for me.

It's a lot easier for me to stick to an exercise routine now that I've found one that not only fits into my schedule easily, but that I also enjoy.   If you're having a hard time finding a routine, don't give up! You may just need to figure out what combination works for you.  Not everyone has it in them to be a gym rat.  And not everyone should feel that they have to be.  Because that is not the only way to get in shape.

If you want to see for yourself without buying the DVDs, here are some Youtube clips you can take a look at. Enjoy!

Ruah Release

Ruah Prenatal

Suzanne Bowen

Monday, February 17, 2014

My (Cystic) Acne Battle... and My Skincare Secrets

...Yes.... I am well out of my teens and well into my 20s... and I still have to deal with acne.  Not just acne, but CYSTIC ACNE. Ugh.

Cystic Acne is a whole different beast than typical acne.  Pretty much, it's skin infections deep under the skin that are painful and swell, leaving behind scarring. Its frustrating and definitely looks out of place on an adult.  And, unfortunately, I will probably be fighting this battle for the next 30 years... because my mom also had this problem... and it is just NOW starting to subside.

I know I've talked about it on here before.  I feel like more people should be sharing their secrets for this type of acne since every time I try to look up acne products I come across a ton of salicylic acid products that do not work on my acne. Benzoyl Peroxide does work... however it is very harsh on the skin, which is why I now only use it for spot treatments.

On top of that, my skin can be sensitive.  I have allergic reactions to some products - even those that are 100% all natural and organic.  I also have to switch up my cleanser every few months since my skin randomly decides it needs a change and doesn't like my regimen anymore.

So that's my back story... Now here are my secrets.

As you could probably tell from my last video - my skin is having a really rough time with breakouts at the moment.  Its been this way for the past month and I've been trying to remedy the situation. Now for those of you who simply cleanser and go... my skin care regimen may seem a little intense... probably because it is.

First off, something that has ALWAYS worked and continues to work is my spot treatment regimen.

Now, this is a very harsh treatment and I would not recommend using it on anything other than cystic acne.  Fair warning. 

I combine

A dab of the Queen Helene Mint Julep Facial Masque (the Proactiv Refining Mask works as well)
A dab of a 10% Benzoyl Peroxide treatment (Such as ZapZyt, Oxy Maximum strength spot treatment)

AND if it's particularly nasty
A dab of  Alpha Hydrox AHA Enhanced Lotion
(Some people get reactions and burns from the AHA lotion so definitely try the top two without the AHA first)

 
2 or 3 nights of my concocted spot treatment usually diminishes the size of any cystic acne spots dramatically.


For daily skincare I use a few products (again, this is constantly changing so I will update once I change again)

In the morning I use my Luna mini with  Alpha Hydrox The Original Foaming Face Wash (Again, some people have reactions to this - its a glycolic acid wash)

After washing for 2 - 3 minutes, I then use a moisturizer with a sunscreen.  This is where I run into problems
1. My skin HATES sunscreen.  I've had reactions to it since I was a teenager.  It doesn't matter if its a mineral, physical, natural, or organic sunscreen.  My skin either burns, breaks out in a rash, or cystic acne appears.

2.  I have problems finding a facial moisturizer that doesn't break out my skin or make it extremely oily and uncomfortable.

So in all my years of searching, I still have not found the perfect moisturizer.  I pretty much just try product after product hoping something works out for me.  If it doesn't breakout my skin right away, I'll use it for a little bit until my skin gets bad.  And then I move on to something else.

I just finished using Alpha Hydrox Sheer Silk Moisturizer.  While it felt nice on and didn't feel greasy, I'm pretty sure that after a couple of weeks of using it, it made my breakouts a lot worse.  I think it may be due to the soybean oil in this product.

So I switched to Alba Sea Moss Moisturizer SPF 15 and so far it is ok.  It's heavily fragranced which makes me nervous but my skin hasn't reacted yet.  I'm not thrilled with how it feels on my face.  It is not greasy but it doesn't feel as smooth as I would like.  So my search continues.


During the day I don't wear a ton of makeup unless we are going somewhere special.  For the most part I wear concealer (maybelline under my eyes and ELF oil free studio concealer on acne spots) blush (MAC mineral blush usually, but sometimes ELF's HD cream blush) and mascara (varies)

At night I remove my eye make up with ponds cold cream and have been using LA Fresh oil free cleansing wipes to remove any makeup from my face.

Then here is where my routine gets a little complicated

Some nights - when I feel like my skin is particularly angry - I use a face mask
Right now my FAVORITE and one that I will continue to by is LUSH's Cosmetic Warrior.  I notice a change in my skin after one use and it definitely make my skin easier to manage.  It's around $7 so I plan on making a stop to LUSH soon to pick up more since I'm almost out!

Some nights I use LUSH's Herbalism as my cleanser (no Luna Mini)
Other nights I use the AHA cleanser mentioned above with the Luna Mini.

It honestly just depends on how my skin feels.  If it feels like its getting too dry or irritated I use the Herbalism to rebalance and calm it down.  If it's being super mean and greasy then I use the Luna and AHA cleanser.

Then I switch off between two night lotions
I alternate between the AHA lotion mentioned above and my Olay Total Effects 7-In-1 Tone Correcting Night Moisturize.

The morning after using the AHA lotion overnight my skin is so soft, bright, and refreshed.  I love the way it looks and feels.  But since my skin burns/itches for the first few minutes after application of this lotion, I'm afraid to wear it every night, so I alternate and will wear my Olay the next night.  It seems to be working out.


As far as makeup goes.  Like I said, I don't wear a full face of makeup daily. Even if  I'm going through a breakout.  When I do wear foundation I stick to CoverGirl Outlast 3 in 1 and ELF's Acne Clearing foundation for liquid and MAC or Clinique for powder.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Final Stop On MyOatmeal Journey

Alright... this MyOatmeal flavor is by far my FAVORITE.


Are you ready for it?

It is Cake Batter with strawberries!



Quick Rolled Instant Oats

Cake Batter

Strawberries

White Cane Sugar

It's sweet and creamy with just a little bit of tart.  I've already eaten the entire bag.

Make your own mix at MyOatmeal.com

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Yes, You ARE a Bombshell! Brought to you by CoverGirl

Ann-Margret
Who do you think of when you hear the word "bombshell?"  Marilyn Monroe?  Jean Harlow? Elizabeth Taylor?  Jayne Mansfield? Perhaps Sophia Loren or Brigitte Bardot.  Maybe even Ann-Margret.

For my younger readers I'm talking about women like Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Upton, and Beyonce.

Whichever lady comes to mind, there is one common theme.  GLAM.



Kate Upton


Now I've never thought of myself as glamorous. I've always heard words like "fresh faced" and "girl next door" used to describe my features. Plus, being clumsy and goofy doesn't really send off the sexy, alluring vibe.

Then I received CoverGirl's Bombshell Collection. At first I thought I would look like a little girl playing dress up or putting on mom's makeup. But honestly, it turned out completely differently than I expected.




Check out the video of my Bombshell experience and my product break down below.






Products

Bombshell Volume by LashBlast Mascara


This is my favorite product out of the collection.  Its easy to apply and I love the look it gives.  Plus it really does last all day and is practically smudge proof.  I have worn this every day since the video and definitely have a new appreciation for CoverGirl.









Bombshell ShineShadow by LashBlast in Ooh La Lilac



This liquid/cream eyeshadow is highly pigmented, easy to apply, and easily blends.  It stays put all day without creasing and can be applied to create a simple or dramatic look. 









Bombshell Intensity Liner by LashBlast in Pitch Black Passion

Despite my fumbling, this felt tip liner is easier to apply than most.  I honestly have the hardest time with liquid and felt liners.  I usually am unable to do a decent eye lining job at all using anything other than a kohl or pencil.  But I was able to with this one.  Once dry, it stays all day and does give an intense look.  Definitely a product any bombshell would make use of.








COVERGIRL LipPerfection™ Lipcolor in Bombshell


I LOVE how bold this lip color is! I have used it a few times since making the video and now carry this lipstick with me.  It goes on very smooth and the color doesn't bleed- which is ideal for those of us with thinner lips.









Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Bombshell

This product was absent from the video.  I didn't think watching me put on nail polish would be very intriguing.  I used this polish on my toes and it is perfect for Valentines Day and Spring.  It may actually be one of my favorite polishes I own.  The color is a beautifully dark, vibrant pink with tons of shimmer in it.  Not chunks of glitter, but shimmer; like you find in the more expensive nail polishes and lacquers.  It applies seamlessly without any streaks or bumps and really compliments any skin tone.
Swatch by Beauty Junkies Unite

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thank you Modern Mom for the feature!

What a Lush-ous Day!




Excuse my cheesy title, but I just couldn't resist. Over the weekend I had the extreme pleasure of touring one of the Lush Cosmetics stores in my area.  Our guide, Bruce, was friendly, charismatic, and incredibly knowledgeable of the company and products.

To be honest, I had been to Lush a few times before, but never really knew a whole lot of the company background.  Then, through the magic of Social Media, I started learning that this company is just the type I always say we should all support.  One with a mission to not only make great, effective, honest products; but also to do it the RIGHT way instead of just worrying about bottom line costs. The company itself is also very active in campaigning for social change.  A company trying to make the world a better place.  Who doesn't love that?

So when I was invited to tour one of their stores and learn more, I jumped on it.  And invited my own Lush enthusiast, Christine, to help out.

Upon entering, we were instantly uplifted by the wonderful smell.  And as we toured, we fell in love with all of the colors, skin care solutions, and witty product names.  One of our biggest questions for Lush was "How do you guys know what works? How do you know what you create solves the problems they're created for?"  We were very surprised to learn that their products are the result of science, research and trials.  Since they do not do any animal testing, several versions of each product are tested on people before hitting the market.

One of the most interesting things we learned, is that the products at Lush are extremely fresh.  We went into the back storage area and every product is marked with when it was made and who made it.  The skincare masks we sampled were made just a few days earlier. This is a big reason why Lush's products are so different from the rest.  Bruce explained to us how the freshness of these organic, natural products is a big reason as to why they are so effective.  For example, antioxidant properties only live for so long.  So even if a product has antioxidants in it, it doesn't really matter if the product is old and antioxidants are dead.  Freshness is the key.

We tried a bunch of goodies but my favorites were definitely the herbalism cleanser and cosmetic warrior mask.  The herbalism cleanser is perfect for cystic acne (uh hello! Me!) but is very calming at the same time.  My skin is so soft afterwards and feels clean without being dry.  Its only been a few days, but I have noticed a change in my skin.  I don't have as many problem spots (you know, the "uh oh... this could turn into something" bumps) and my skin seems much happier.

Using the Cosmetic Warrior feels like giving my skin a clean slate.  Especially after a day with a face full of makeup (I'm sorry skin!) Cosmetic Warrior seems to remedy the abuse I put my skin through with makeup.  I've read some reviews that say the mask is stinky... mine isn't.  I mean it's no Cupcake, but it's not stinky. Plus, my skin was completely under control after one use. Can't beat that!

I also got some of the Ickle Baby Bot bath bombs in hopes of a miracle.  And I must say, my son was very relaxed after his bath. He was in full tantrum mode before bath time and then completely chill afterwards.  That's a win for me.  Christine, at the tail end of her pregnancy, wanted some glamor in her pampering so she tried the gorgeous Phoenix Rising bath bomb.  It provided a much needed time out for this soon to be mom and moisturized her skin as well.

While in store I tried the Close To You massage bar.  I think this product is such a great idea! It can be used as a quick moisturizer, or as a mess free massage oil.  It also smelled so good, I left it on my arm all day... and continued to sniff my arm throughout the day (no shame!)

One product I can definitely recommend for Summer is the Silk Stocking Solid Body Tint.  Again, it's mess free and gives your legs (or wherever you choose to apply) a golden tan.  AND you can make it as light or dark as you would like.

As far as shower gel is concerned, I took home the Happy Hippy.  I just couldn't resist this fresh, clean, citrus scented gel.  It definitely brightens up my shower experience.  And it can also be used as shampoo when I'm feeling rushed for time.

The soap I favored is being discontinued, which makes me very sad.  Demon in the Dark reminds me of a comforting cup of minty tea.  And lets face it, sometimes us moms need just a little bit of refreshing comfort.  Christine took home Honey I Washed The Kids soap.  She prefers the sweeter scents.

I also received a sample of the Rehab shampoo.  (Can I say how much I LOVE stores that provide samples of their products?! It really shows how much they believe in what they are selling.) And let me tell you, I'm planning on making a trip back to Lush to buy this shampoo.  It made my hair so soft and shiny, I just can't get enough.

So new addiction - Lush Cosmetics!  I see many trips to this lovely shop in my future. Check them out for yourself, and if you're hesitant to buy your first time in, ask for some samples and try it out for yourself!



Pssst.  Remember how I said Lush is very active in campaigning for social change?  Right now they are supporting LGBTQ rights in Russia with The Sign Of Love.  To join the campaign simply post a picture with the sign of love (the pink triangle) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Make sure to hashtag signoflove and tag Lush Cosmetics. Our picture is below.  We used Christine's baby bump <3


Friday, February 7, 2014

The Adventure of Healthy and Yummy Continues



As my MyOatmeal adventure continues, I continue to eat more and more oatmeal... at all times of the day.  But I've discovered my favorite time to eat this oatmeal... is during the nights my son refuses to sleep or wakes up at 3am and I know I'm going to need both comfort and energy.  This healthy oatmeal is so warm and creamy, I'll eat it for any meal or snack.

The next flavor on my journey?  Smores.   Yeah, that's right.  SMORES OATMEAL. WHAT?!  How could I NOT pick this one?!  I do taste the graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow in the mix.  I also prefer this mix to my failed Reese's attempt.  It's sweeter, which I enjoy.



I was also able to give this one to my son to try.  At a little over a year old, I've never seen him show such an interest in oatmeal.  Now every time I'm eating anything in a bowl he comes over looking for a taste...and seems disappointed when it's not one of the MyOatmeal mixes.

I'm definitely enjoying this oatmeal journey and it's not over yet! Stay tuned!

Make your own MyOatmeal mix here.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

E.L.F. Haul!

I finally have an E.L.F. review for you all! I know I talk about how great E.L.F. is all of the time, but I've never dedicated an entire video to them.... so here it is! Check it out below!








Check out E.L.F. for yourself at http://www.eyeslipsface.com

Monday, February 3, 2014

Yummy Yummy in Mommy's Tummy!


So I am super excited because I finally got a chance to try my customized MyOatmeal.com mixes!

I first heard about this special oatmeal from my cousin.  She is a Dietetic Assistant and very good at finding and making yummy treats that are also very nutritious. The flavors sounded so delicious and unique, I couldn't wait to try it for myself.  I chose 3 mixes, the first of which being Peanut Butter and Black Forest Cake.

I was trying to get close to the flavor of a peanut butter cup.  My mix included


Quick Rolled Instant Oats 

Black Forest Cake Flavor

PB Lean (Powdered Peanut Butter) 

Monk Fruit Sweetener (plant, calorie free)



I definitely taste the peanut butter (YUM!) The Black Forest Cake was there but the peanut butter overpowered it.  I should have added more sweetener for my taste, but for those who don't have such a humongous sweet tooth, this probably would have been plenty!

The texture is super creamy and it definitely tastes very fresh.  Much better than any store bought oatmeal I have ever tried!

Stay tuned for the next adventure in my MyOatmeal.com journey!

Order your own mix at MyOatmeal and get 15% off of your order with promo code healthy15