Every year something new unravels at The Makeup Show - this year The Makeup Play Area will be rolled out in Orlando, Chicago, Dallas and L.A. This is a specially designed area where artists can try out new products and work with them while learning proper application and uses.Read More
Usually I am against putting my fingers in makeup but I used my fingers to swatch Jesse's Girl Highlight & Contour palette and the pigments are so velvety and smooth! Crazy smooth...almost unbelievable but so nice to apply.Read More
So many things come to mind when we ring in the new year and even though the Winter season is just getting started all kinds of things change up - hopefully for the better. These fresh picks from the January edition of the POPSUGAR Must Have Box definitely brings that refresh and "get with the program" feeling we all hope to have going into a new year.Read More
These brownie bars came out super moist and completely satisfying. Thinking I may have to peek on the Sister's Gourmet site to see what other tasty mixes they have available!
Disclosure : POPSUGAR Must Have Box provided for honest review
Sign up for POPSUGAR and get $5 off your first box using code SHOP5Read More
Years ago my mother in-law gave us this simple recipe for making cough syrup for our kiddos when our daughter had bronchitis. And we've been using ever since then.Read More
In the spirit of chilly weather and perfectly winged eyeliner I am sharing my November beauty pick of the monthRead More
We've come to the conclusion that we need to make mini/monthly bucket lists if we want to get anything out of our daily norm accomplished. We both run busy schedules - I am a full-time student, among other things, and Nilton (that wonderful guy I'm married to) has a retail management schedule - so sometimes making a last minute plan is just too late - don't like setting myself up for that type of disappointment! So here's what we had in mind for the month.Read More
More good things coming out of the POPSUGAR world this month. One of my favorite things to do is be über surprised with the goodies that show up on my doorstep every month. In most cases I always like to know what's going on but with the POPSUGAR Must Have box I welcome the surprise because there is always a variety of things that peak my interest.Read More
We - the Mister and I - came across the best little donut shop in Historic Cocoa Village this morning - we love finding local places to meet up for our coffee dates and it looks like we've found another good one.Read More
One of my favorite addictive things to do is to organize. It's more of a healthy obsession than anything else but it does help keep a house of 5 people in some sort of order. Things can turn a little crazy if the mister and I can't find our car keys and none of the kids have packed their backpacks for school so we're scrambling to find homework and agendas.Read More
The rules of the beauty game are always changing and I'm always looking forward to putting my best face forward no matter the current challenge.
I've always been a fan of more natural methods and they do seem to work better but sometimes it's more about how you work what you're working with. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trading in my oils or paraben free cleansers, but those only work if you know how to work them for your skin.
Here are the top 5 beauty rules I live by...daily
1. Wash it twice - I cleanse with a paraben free cleanser, like Pacifica's Kale Detox Deep Cleansing Face Wash, and then I follow with oil cleansing using Moroccan Argan Oil. Generally it takes more than one go 'round to get mascara, foundation, powder and what ever else has been applied truly off your skin. Not a believer? Wash your face once and then swipe it along your hairline, jawline or eyelids with a cotton ball or cotton swab. Miss something?
2. Avoid sugar and processed foods - boxed food products and refined sugars are no friends to none but I wear them particularly well when I consume them so I just don't eat them. And it isn't easier said than done because I actually love having clear skin and a smaller waistline. I stopped eating sugar and other not so healthy foods cold turkey and dropped over 20 lbs in under two months. That was all before the workouts and crazy healthy smoothies. And I haven't gained any of it back - I'd say those are results you can bet on.
3. Sleep on a satin pillowcase - this is something really new for me but extremely beneficial to my skin and hair. Cotton can, and does, basically suck the life out of my skin no matter how much moisturizer I've used so after a bit of research I settled on satin pillowcases for me and the husband. And as long as we're talking about sleep - make sure you get more of it. I aim to be in bed by at least 10:00 pm nightly.
4. It's possible you may need to skip the brushes - I don't use makeup brushes for applying foundation - it can be a real pain without a handy dandy brush to apply foundation but my skin is really sensitive and the brush hairs can actually cause tiny scratches which leave my skin wide-open for bacteria that lead to breakouts. I haven't used a foundation brush in over 5 months and it definitely has paid off.
5. Checking makeup ingredients twice - I am forever in the process of switching up my current products for healthier ones but my cheek areas are especially sensitive so I started off replacing those types of products in my cosmetics stash first. And I do truly throw away things that have gone bad, no matter how much I love it - every six months I purge anything that needs to go, cleansers, hair treatments, nail polish, mascara, lipsticks, moisturizers, etc. Think of it this way - if you haven't used it in a year then you aren't going to anyway so it's safer for you to send it on a one way trip to the garbage.
What are some of your tried and true beauty rules to live by?
Product: Pixi by Petra H2O SkindrinkWhere to buy: Target Price: $22 - check Cartwheel regularly for deals
Thoughts - This lightweight gel-like moisturizer packs a powerful punch of hydration - a little goes a very long way - and can be used during the hottest of days or coolest of nights. It has a very light scent to it and glides on beautifully to wear alone or under foundation. I use it all over my face - it's the only thing I can use around my eye area without issue - including my t zone which is usually an oil slick.
A little goes such a long way. I used a drop on the back of my hand - a little smaller than pea size - and spread from the knuckle area all the way towards my wrist.
The results are super moisturized and smooth skin. It doesn't have an immediate drying affect but rather melds - hope that's a word! - into the skin leaving a bit of a dewy look without stickiness or an oily feel. And this is good for morning or evening use.
Beauty Fit! Don't be scared off by the size of the tube and the price tag that goes with it. This cruelty-free beauty can hold it's own and will make for a great layering moisturizer during the colder months of the year. Have you tried it yet?
As a mom of 3 I am always looking for better, more clever, ways to implement healthier and tastier meal options. Over two months ago I sat down with my children and we watched a documentary on sugar...that grainy white stuff that most people go googly-eyed over. They asked so many questions and got so many answers that they actually understood. From that point forward, literally - my oldest tossed the remaining half of a chocolate cake we had after the documentary ended - we've been juicing, grilling veggies and grocery shopping with our health in mind ever since.
Image: Clever Foodies
Now with all of that in mind we take a little time each week to discuss what we are going to be shopping for at the grocery store, how we will be preparing it and trying out something new at least a few times a month. This month we're checking out how to make our eggs with bold flavor and lots of veggies using CleverFoodies' Scramble mix-ins. These preservative free veggie mixes come in 3 flavors, Leafy Greens, Mediterranean and Rancheros, and are packed with fresh veggies.
So we decided on English Muffin egg-wiches for breakfast one morning and this was actually easier to use than we thought it would be. We used 1 egg per English Muffin and started off with making them sunny side up and adding about a teaspoon and a half scoop of the Leafy Greens mix-in to the yolky tops. Because we did use butter to toast the English Muffins we didn't bother adding salt to the eggs - it all came out perfect!
Everyone went for seconds on these and I can't blame them because they were delicious! We still have the Mediterranean flavor to try out and I'm thinking about adding it to a Quiche dish - my kids love their Quiche!
You can find CleverFoodies' Scramble products at Publix, Super Target and other grocers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Disclosure: Product provided by CleverFoodies' Scramble for honest review and opinion. Photos are my own unless otherwise labeled.
Disclosure: Product provided for review and compensation on behalf of Zakia's Morocco. All opinions and photos are my own.
I love a good clay powder. In my opinion they are one of the most versatile skin care products you can own. Think of it as the foundation or base product for creating custom products to suit your "at the moment" skin care needs. This is my first time using Moroccan Ghassoul Clay - hard to believe considering how much I love trying new things - but it most certainly isn't going to be my last. First I want to share a little more about what it actually is and what it can be used for.
What is Ghassoul clay?
Ghassoul - pronounced Rhassoul - is a mineral rich clay found in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. When sun-dried and untreated it makes for the most useful of a multitude of skin and body care applications by just adding water and mixing. It also contains a higher content of calcium, magnesium, silica and potassium. It's 100% natural and that is something I can beauty co-sign on.
[wp-svg-icons icon="droplet" wrap="i"]
What can it be used for?
So here is the beauty of this product - you can use it just about anywhere. That means you can do a full body, face and hair masks all with the same product! A little goes a very long way and the texture is smooth and very fluffy so mixing it in with things like your shampoo is a cinch.
So I am pretty much a skin care junkie. I will try almost any healthy product for my skin at least twice - once to figure out what works best for me and once to actually enjoy it. My experience using this clay powder for a face mask was pretty standard as far as applications go but the way my skin felt during after use is what really sealed the deal.
First I washed my face after having a nice warm - never hot - shower. One of the suggestions with using product is that you apply it after your skin is well hydrated and warm which means after a shower for me.
[wp-svg-icons icon="droplet" wrap="i"]
I mixed and applied with a Coastal Scents BR-B-S45 Elite Multipurpose Flat brush. It was like playing with paint! And I actually enjoyed not getting it all under my fingernails so thinking of using the same technique for the body application.
[wp-svg-icons icon="droplet" wrap="i"]
During the process my skin felt super relaxed and good. Can skin feel good? In my head that makes sense but if I had to describe it better I would probably it felt like I had gotten a facial massage. And the drying wasn't too bad either - my skin didn't get that itchy feeling, I could still make silly faces half-way through drying!
[wp-svg-icons icon="droplet" wrap="i"]
The after was pretty amazing. I think I went makeup free for pretty much the rest of the day. After rinsing off the clay I let my skin dry for a bit before using one of my moisturizing facial sprays. All in all it was a pretty great experience and my next use for this will be in a hair mask.
[wp-svg-icons icon="droplet" wrap="i"]
Disclosure: Product provided for review and compensation on behalf of Zakia's Morocco. All opinions and photos are my own.
So I love having fresh herbs to add daily to our meals at home but I am so chicken when it comes to dealing with spiders and snakes - we have plenty of those here! We buy a lot of our herbs already dried and packaged but there are just some that are best fresh. A DIY indoor herb garden is my solution to all of that problem.
This entire project cost less than $40 - including the herbs. I thought about planting seeds but I'm usually pretty honest with myself and I love instant gratification when I can get it.
The metal container cost me around $13 from Marshalls. They had so many to choose from so I let my husband pick from about 4 that I really liked. At that point he really couldn't go wrong and I actually love what he chose. This one had more character with all of the rope detail.
It didn't come with any holes for drainage so we added some. And to be totally honest I let my DH handle that part because his drill is super heavy duty and I know my limitations when it comes to handling some tools. We figured one hole per plant would suffice.
I added some pea gravel before putting in dirt for a million and one reasons but ultimately I don't want dirt falling through or bugs crawling up since this is going to be traveling between our kitchen and back patio.
Love how this started to fill in with just a few herbs.
We planted lemon thyme (good for seasoning fish and repelling mosquitoes); lemon balm (also good for cooking, teas and repelling insects); rosemary (so many uses for this herb like infusing herb oils, adding to dishes like roasted potatoes or creating natural disinfectant); sweet basil (used in a lot of the dishes I make, including tossing it with fresh salads) and mint (love using fresh mint in teas and adding to my cucumber water).
So this was slightly messier than I cared for - dirt under the nails is no fun - but I love the final results and I had enough supplies leftover to add my new citronella plant and an extra lemon balm plant to a large pot we decided to reuse since it's no longer fit for cooking with.
Love the way these turned out - makes me wish I had some more old pots to re-purpose.
It happens every Spring - the air gets a little warmer and my skin gets a little happier and my products get just a bit more fun. I switch up creams for moisturizing sprays and play with mascaras that give my lashes a little more dramatic flare but overall I just like to try something new once in a while to keep things fresh! So here's what I've got going on so far...
Fell in love with the Schick Hydro Silk TrimStyle and don't care who knows it! This is probably my most favorite new little beauty gadget and can't believe I almost passed it up in Target a couple of months ago. And it was a pretty good deal going along with using Cartwheel so I ended up saving a few dollars.
So it's a dual shaver - razor on one side and a bikini trimmer on the other with an adjustable and removable guide - and it's waterproof! I have never been so impressed, really I am.
So far I've grabbed Pacifica's Dream Big mascara - it has this crazy dual action brush thing going on that I love and Tarte's Tarteist mascara - it was recommended during a quick trip to Sephora when I realized they were out of Lashgasm - nothing but good things to say about it!
The best thing about both of these is their wands - a good mascara wand can take you fabulous places!
So this is a little new for me even though I am a huge fan of using rosewater a moisturizer in a spray bottle is just as refreshing - and they actually work! A few of my favorites that I've been using for the past couple of months are Quandong & Chamomile Skin Radiance Aqua Mist by Coast to Coast, Sparkling Glacier Complexion Mist with Fragonia by Aubrey Organics and - this one is technically a toner but doubles as my nighttime moisturizer - Clementine + C Illuminating Toner by Andalou Naturals. These are my absolute favorites and they work wonders.
Trying something new this season? Do share!
The Unlikely yet Beneficial Partnership of Fashion, Charity & Bingo
People can’t live without fashion. This statement holds true especially to the millions of women who read magazines, scour the Internet, and/or watch shows to get updates on the latest trends around the world. Since they comprise 80% of the world’s 100 million bingo players – according to statistics by Optimove – it is no wonder why most of them opt to wear their best outfits during game days. Female style icons – who are also self-confessed avid bingo players – have always set the bar high in terms of the do’s and don’ts in fashion. These trendy women walk the red carpet of high-profile charity balls and events with the grace of a gazelle, as if transforming an unassuming bingo hall into a glamorous catwalk.
Since its inception, online bingo companies have long been associated with various benevolent institutions. Gala Bingo, for instance, has close ties with a non-profit organization that aims to assist the less fortunate. 52 Lives, together with the UK-based online gaming platform, have embarked on a 52-week mission to raise £52,000, an amount that can drastically change the lives of 52 people for the better. On the other hand, celebrities combine their prominent status and this timeless recreational activity to produce a vehicle toward positive outcomes.
Other than walking the brightest runways and being on esteemed fashion magazines around the world, English supermodel Kate Moss uses her love for bingo as a way to support charitable endeavours. After one of her closest friends, Sadie Frost, revealed to Vogue about Moss’ love for the game, she’s actually become a fixture in a lot of charity bingo galas. Kate Moss truly embodies style wherever she goes. She’s usually seen in these events wearing an elegant ensemble featuring a bevy of endorsements ranging from Mango and Topshop to Chanel and Burberry. This also becomes an avenue for Moss to not just express her love for bingo, but to show the world that a fashion model of her stature can make a difference no matter how small it is.
There are no written rules about charity and fashion, unlike to that of bingo. However, this classic game can come up with a recipe using these two ingredients to promote different causes and raise awareness for the betterment of society.
Natural salt is one of my favorite types of healthy exfoliants to use in skin care products. It's simple to incorporate just about anywhere and you can purchase bulk supplies and store them for future use if you need to.
This is a quick and fairly easy Celtic sea salt scrub recipe that is great for sloughing away dead skin and getting a natural glow year-round.
5 tbsp Celtic sea salt
4 tbsp almond or apricot kernel oil - unrefined and/or organic is best
1 tsp dried ground rose petals or lavender - crushed/ground
2 drops grapefruit seed essential oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix the salt and ground rose/lavender petals with the sea salt
I store my scrubs in short glass jars but add a few tablespoons to a small plastic container when ready to use in the shower, it's much safer than taking the risk of dropping the glass.
Mix your unrefined oil of choice with both essential oils then pour over the salt mixture
Mix well and store with an airtight lid
So I had coarse Celtic sea salt and crushed up a bit with a mortar and pestle. Not a big fan of fine salt plus I find the coarse salt a bit more versatile since I also use it for cooking and other skin care solutions like foot soaks. I primarily use this scrub in the shower and at least a day or two before I shave my legs. It is after all sea salt! A lot of the products I use can be found on Amazon or at local health food stores or herb shops. Also note you should always always use unrefined oils whether consuming internally or using externally.
This is a sponsored post containing affiliate links.
Winter skin care routine can be a disaster, especially if you don't follow them, or worse the products that are supposed to be helping are horrific and wreak havoc on your skin. My weakness used to be ultra pretty packaging and chic labels because how could those due you any harm right?!
I had my first consultation with Monique - a super knowledgeable rep at Paula's Choice - on a Wednesday, less than a week later I had an arsenal of carefully selected products delivered to my doorstep.
Skin care routines can be a disaster, especially if you don't follow them...
Naturally, I used the products the same day I received them and truth be told my skin was due for something new and improved. I received 7 products total and at this point in the beauty game I can't see myself living without any of them. Or at least maintaining a healthy skin appearance in their absence.
Most of the products are from the CALM Collection which offers anti-redness relief and are especially formulated for sensitive skin. Monique also sent Resist BHA 9 - a targeted treatment for skin imperfections, RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol and RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid which is a moisturizer with SPF 50.
No fragrances, dyes or harsh chemicals
Free personalized skin care consultation
And if all else fails...doubt that it will 100% - 60 day money back guarantee
So diving in to my daily routine...
Day Time Routine
During the day my routine can vary but there are always staples. Like cleanser, toner and moisturizer with sunscreen are at least my basics. Those never change. Then there are days where I will supercharge it and add on 1% BHA Lotion or Repairing Serum.
Redness Relief Cleanser - Calm
This is a fragrance-free gel cleanser that is really great at removing makeup without irritating my skin. I actually love that it has Meadowfoam Seed Oil and Aloe Leaf Juice because those are actually two products that I've used in the past that have worked really great on my skin. So while a pretty scent may be missing when I'm taking care of business I don't miss the rash type of breakouts that came come with those harsh ingredients. This is something I use everyday - twice a day- without fail and it's perfect for keeping my skin balanced.
Redness Relief Toner - Calm
I'm not big on toners but I'm glad for the opportunity to give this one a try. The only thing I do a bit off beat from the instructions is I use my hands to apply rather than a cotton ball. The spout on it is perfect for putting a few drops in the palm of my hand and working it over a freshly washed face. And I actually like it better that way.
Redness Relief Repairing Serum - Calm
I l-o-v-e serums! A good serum will take you far and then some. I like using this one with or without toner. I just like the way it feels being the first product on my skin following my cleanser. This is typically my daytime favorite since I use the Lotion Exfoliant with my nighttime routine.
Barrier Repair Moisturizer - RESIST | Wrinkles + Sun Damage
So this is my new favorite moisturizer. Hands-down. Favorite. I use this morning and night. What I probably love most about it is that it soaks into my skin so nicely and a little goes a long way.
Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid w/ SPF 50 - RESIST
So this one is pretty obvious and I only use it during the day but it is so easy to use. Really, unexpectedly easy. Usually anything with SPF 15 and up leaves a white cast on my skin making it super difficult to work with or even apply makeup over. This product pretty much changes all of that.
I've used this under liquid makeup, powder makeup and with no makeup. The consistency is so thin and smooth that it blends right into my skin without the unfavorable chalky film left behind.
My night time routine is fairly simple. Simple in the sense that I pretty much slather on whatever I'm going to use at my own pace. In the mornings I'm keeping time in mind but in the evenings I get to slow it down.
Resist BHA 9
So following cleanser I use spot treatments first on any spots that look less than fab on my skin. Love the beauty marks but I can live without acne marks. Once in a while I will get a spot that just doesn't need to be there - i.e. acne blemishes, irritation/redness. What I like about this particular spot treatment is that it's lightweight and doesn't irritate my skin.
Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant - Calm
This is the ultimate skin smoothing facial lotion. I may use this during the day - most likely during the weekend when I'm babying my skin - but otherwise it's a night time favorite. It helps keep my pores unclogged and skin smoothed. I love that when I use this I don't wake up with "sleepy" face. I credit that to this lotion and avoiding cotton pillowcases like the plague.
This is my first experience with Paula's Choice products but I'm already making plans to workout what changes I may need to make for my Spring/Summer routine. Have you tried Paula's Choice yet? I'm really looking forward to my next order. And I'm happy to share this 20% off discount when you order with code PRIMPWINTER - good thru Feb 29th 2016 - And if you need some guidance you can get a free skin care consultation by calling 1-800-831-4088
Also, a big thanks to Pretty In My Pocket for giving me the opportunity to try a new brand. Register, follow and shop some amazing brands tried out by yours truly.
Sponsored post - opinions and experiences are my own.
My life is always on the go, I mean always. Both my husband and I work full-time schedules while balancing caring for our 3 young children. We like to make time for everything without overdoing it. And I since I am a bit of a perfectionist at times I can forget that less is more + some days it's just better to take it nice + slow. Sometimes I need to just focus on a more Zen Life. And these days I benefit from a mental workout more than anything else. So I carry a bit of sanity with me daily using a few good apps that remind me to always stop + smell the roses, even if I've only got a few minutes to spare.
Wake Up & Live
Headspace | I've been using this app since last year to take those mental timeouts needed to relax, restructure and regroup. And I love that I can use it anywhere and I do mean anywhere. Since I am a hands-free kind of woman when it comes to using my phone (I seriously do not hold my phone in the car, ever, my bluetooth headset is my like my right hand) I use it riding passenger side, on my lunch hour at work, or even while at my desk. A mental check out helps me mentally check back in with a more positive and calming outlook. Headspace has a free 10 day trial period + pricing options for those who'd like to become members. Who wouldn't want that?
Mind Body Green | I use their Mind Body Green rss app and scroll through articles that appeal to me. I am also an email subscriber and love brushing up on new recipes, workouts, holistic healing and other ways to wind-down throughout the week.
Happify | I've been a fan of following Happify on social media but only recently learned that they have an app. I currently use the free side of their app (they have monthly and annual subscription rates available as well) and love the activities they over to help the "happy" take over just a bit more in my life. They also have infographics, free play and journey tracks that can help narrow down issues and bring more happy into life.
These are just three helpful tools that I use to Zen Life. What are some techie tools you use to keep balanced and focused?