Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today's Lil Bit 'O Happiness

Heaven And Earth Essentials Berry Bliss Whipped Sugar Scrub is soooooooooo, well, heavenly! Right now it's 15% off at their site and while I have Berry Bliss, it's available in a staggering number of choices. It's highly concentrated and leaves your skin crazy soft. Since every nutjob in Texas has been cranking their heat up to 90, my skin has been getting dry and itchy. Using this is like getting a wonderful scratch that covers your whole body. Afterwards your skin will be so moisturized that there's no point in even using lotion.

"With wonderful ingredients such as Organic Cane Sugar and Jojoba Oil. It is a scrub that is simply beautiful and effective. Upon contact with water, this unique formula emulsifies into a creamy lotion scrub, leaving you completely moisturized and exfoliated with no greasy residue. This creamy formula also allows you to scoop it (consistency of spreadable frosting) without a mess, or losing a majority of the product. And no slick tub mess!"

As a company, they're also quite impressive. All products are handmade in small batches AFTER you order them, so your product is always fresh. They always include a sample of something else for you to try with your order, and they rely on recycled materials for all of their packing materials. Their site is a fabulous maze of handmade bath and body products, handmade perfume oils, metaphysical items, organic teas and more. FABU!

BVLGARI OMNIA GREEN JADE by Bvlgari EDT SPRAY 2.2 OZ for WOMEN is THIRTY DOLLARS cheaper through this link than it is at Sephora. Whoo hoo! It smells fresh and clean and is excellent for the office space as it's non offensive and subtle. I ADORE this stuff. When I wear it, I huff on myself like I was a bottle of glue (JK!)

Spring Water, Green Mandarin, White Peony, Nasturtium, Pear Tree Flower, Jasmine Petals, Fresh Pistachio, White Woods, Musk.

 Plus, their spokemodel is Julianne Moore. Who says no to Julianne Moore?

Korres Body Butters 7.95 oz Guava Body Butter is a winter go to for me. SOOOOOO thick and rich, but it still absorbs quickly and doesn't leave you feeling greasy, just hydrated. If you put it on right after you bathe, it traps the moisture into your skin and leaves your skin feeling downright plumped. I like to put it on after my evening bath so I feel super soft and cuddly. Slightly sweet tropical scent (it's available in tons of other scents as well, but guava is one of the most popular) that's light enough to be non-offensive and doesn't hang in a heavy cloud of scent over you. Also excellent for using on super rough patches like heels and elbows.

Designs by Taylor 2U makes absolutely ADORABLE stuff! You can get customized pieces where you get to choose what you want on your jewelry and I SOOOOOO need to get one that shows Dallas! The charms! The cuff links! Seriously original, seriously handmade, seriously awesome. When you check out, you just let her know what location you want on your piece (the map pieces) and easy breezy, puddin and pie, there you go!  I have a few of her hairpins that I like to wear on an almost daily basis because they're not just beautiful and unique, but also sturdy. Go take a browse through the store and see what you think!

Borghese Botanico Eye Compresses are excellent! They're a great deal, too- you get 60 compresses, so enough for 30 treatments. After I use them, The Husband likes me to let him use what's left and they make even his Italian eye bags go away a bit! I popped these babies on the last time I did a mud bath ( see previous  blog on Dead Sea mud) and felt like I was being pampered in a high end spa.....
Borghese Eye Care, 60pads Eye Compresses for Women
Borghese Eye Care, 60pads Eye Compresses for Women
Reduces puffiness,Soothes and combats the appearance of fine lines,Boosts hydration,Remove after 5-10 minutes, patting excess gel around eye area,Dispose of pads after each use,

November GoGoGirlfriend

At the moment, GoGo Girlfriend has a waiting list- I think they were shocked at how many people signed up so quickly. So as to best serve their current members, they are not taking any new members until the beginning of January, I believe. I'm impressed by their integrity to serve their current customers instead of letting customer service slip in the name of making more moolah.......

So what is GoGo Girfriend? It's a monthly sampler ($12.99) full of health and beauty products, many of them from smaller companies that you might have otherwise missed out on. There's a lot of organic and natural  products, which is nice. They also do giveaways, sometimes a few a week- of full sized products and often will mail members extras "just because". I had a review published on their site and they sent me a full size bottle of the item I reviewed! They've also sent me great freebies like a full size (HUGE) bottle of B12 drops and organic face wipes. Members earn reward points for rating products which can be used towards a free box or products in the store (where members also get a discount off of retail.) I recently used some of my points to get an enormous jar of French Green clay powder for a friend's birthday.


5% of Your Membership Fees are Donated to the Lynne Cohen Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Research

So here's what was in my December box, along with reviews of each product. (most items available in the GoGo Girlfriend store)

Full sized Blossoms Eye Shadow in Dreamy Girl (member price $5.95, non member $9.95)
I'm really wanting to try the Hibiscus- it's such an interesting color!

Camille Beckman French Vanilla 5 Piece Gift Set (includes Glycerine hand Therapy, Coronet Cream, Silky Body Cream, Hand & Shower Cleansing Gel, and Bubble Bath.) $9.99 - you can get the set at 
Camille Beckman
And can I just say OHMYGOAWD!!! This stuff is amazing. Their Hand Therapy has a massive cult following, because it's possibly the BEST HAND LOTION EVER MADE! GGGF members can get Beckman items discounted in the GGGF store.

Oluv Fresh Olive Leaf Body Scrub retails for $6.00 and came with a little wooden scoop so you don't have to get your grubby fingers in the jar- cool!

I'm super excited about these Crystal Essence Pomegranate Mineral Deoderant Towelettes. I love deoderant crystals, but they are incredibly inconvenient at times, especially if you're my husband, who has managed to shatter 2 of them in the last 2 months. Nothing like trying to soldier through and rubbing shattered salt crystals on your pits..... These are brilliant! Also available in chamomile and green tea.

We got a scent sample of the FABULOUS Dolce & Gabbana light blue
Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue 0.8 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
A stunning perfume, overwhelming and irresistible like the joy of living. Surprising and colored: the liveliness of Sicilian citron, the happiness of Granny Smith apple, the spontaneity of bluebells. Feminine and resolute: the intensity of jasmine, the freshness of bamboo, the charm of white rose. Deep and true: the character of cedarwood, the fullness of amber, the embrace of musk.Notes:Sicilian Citron, Bluebell, Granny Smith Apple, Jasmine Sambac, Bamboo, White Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Musk....

And last but not least, an Eye Crease Brush from e.l.f. which is super soft and perfectly tapered to get your eye crease. 
e.l.f. Essential Eye Crease Brush
e.l.f. Essential Eye Crease Brush
Blends and contours in the crease and corners of the eye. This domed bristle brush picks up a lot of eye color and sweeps it onto the eyelid to create bold definition. Great for smudging shadow into the lash line for a smoky effect.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ten Hits and a Miss

Herban Essentials towelettes are available from Birchbox and they are AWESOME! Just brilliant. They're moistened antibacterial wipes that contain no chemicals or alcohol. Instead, they use essential oils with natural antibacterial properties to clean without drying out your skin or coating you in triclosan. The wipes are a really good size, so they can be used for just about anything, and they're also biodegradable. Perfect for oopsies or wiping down something scary. Since they're individually wrapped, you can throw some in your purse or glove box and not worry about them drying out. A life saver if you have to change a flat on your way somewhere or the public toilet is nasty. They also leave your hands soft with a light clean scent. Love!

John Frieda Root Awakening Shampoo, Conditioner, Smoothing Lotion- wow! I was really shocked that a drugstore brand could be so awesome! I've gotten burned so many times, but this stuff is easily as good as some of the big salon names out there. My hair showed results with the first use, and I loved that it didn't weigh down my baby fine hair. After a trim, using this kept me from getting split ends and my hair seemed to grow really quickly. The smoothing lotion gave my hair body and definition without weighing it down. SCORE!
Root Awakening Strength Restoring Shampoo for Breakage Prone Hair
Root Awakening Strength Restoring Shampoo for Breakage Prone Hair
Fortify and protect your hair with Root Awakening Strength Restoring Shampoo for Breakage-Prone Hair by John Frieda.

Root Awakening  Strength Restoring Conditioner for Breakage Prone Hair
Root Awakening Strength Restoring Conditioner for Breakage Prone Hair
Fortify and protect your hair with Root Awakening Strength Restoring Conditioner for Breakage-Prone Hair by John Frieda.

Root Awakening Strength Restoring Smoothing Lotion
Root Awakening Strength Restoring Smoothing Lotion
Vitamin-enriched smoothing lotion by John Frieda, with Eucalyptus, provides manageability and style control for any style.

Loopy Gal Creations Scrubbies are possibly my favorite handcrafted scrubbies out there. They're a good size, thick, and quite lovely to boot. I've got a number of these, and they have a permanent place next to my bathroom sink. I not only use them to wash my face with, but I also keep one just for applying toner. This way I'm saving cotton balls! I love the unique design that she incorporates, it gives them a one of a kind flair and also make them extremely efficient for face washing! I have them in tons of colors (my orangey rainbowy one is for my toner.....)

Talika Eye Decompress- these things are so ridiculously cool. I love it when a beauty product also doubles as a squeal inducing grown up toy! Watch this quick video to see how they work:

Talika Eye Decompress Groovy, huh? And let me tell you- these things WORK!  I don't know how something that I put over my eyes can do a better job of perking me up and removing red eyes than eyedrops, but these work better than anything like, ever. And, because they're in these wicked cool packets, they're great for travel or keeping in a desk drawer for a 5 minute work nap!
Talika Eye Decompress
Are your eyes : - puffy in the morning? - irritated - red? - feeling de-hydrated? Talika, the eye specialist, has created the miracle solution to soothe it all in one go! Talika Eye Decompress refreshes, soothes, relieves congestion and revitalizes tired eyes. Directions: Place the pastille into the capsule containing the blue solution. The pastille immediately absorbs the solution and transforms itself into an eye mask. Open out the mask and apply it on the eyes for a few minutes. Net Weight: 9 Disposable Treatments. Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Cornflower Extract.

Benefit So Hooked On Carmella, well, it's just not for me. It's gotten astoundingly good reviews across the board, so I can only assume it's my specific body chemistry, but on me the vanilla is so sweet and powdery it's gag inducing. The listed scent notes
Top notes: lemon, grapefruit, rhubarb
Middle notes: cyclamen, peony, tiare flower
Bottom notes: vanilla, sandalwood, amber
Seem like they'd be perfect for me, but somehow it just DOESN'T WORK on my skin. I know I'm in the minority here, but this one's just a no-go. I'd recommend finding your nearest Ulta or Sephora and giving it a test squirt before committing to a full bottle. I've smelled it on others and it was fabu, so it's just my own bad luck :-(

so hooked on Carmella

iQ Derma Glacial Hydrating Gel mask- Mama Mia! It's very cooling- perfect for the summer or for sensitive skin. When I use this, my normal skin redness stays away for days and it hydrates without any greasiness. I have yet to use an iQ Derma product that wasn't tops in it's field, and they knocked it out of the park again with this one. Since it's a gel, it also does a great job of clearing out the pores. With regular use, this will make your skin absolutely glow. It's a BIG tube and a little goes a long way, so this will last you forEVAH. Right now it's also 20% off at the link below!
Glacial Hydrating Gel Mask (1.7 fl oz.)
Glacial Hydrating Gel Mask (1.7 fl oz.)
This moisturizing mask contains aquaxyl, an ingredient that instantly binds moisture to the skin for immediate and lasting hydration. It also contains an advanced moisture complex and a phytotonic extract blend to supply even more moisture while protecting the skin with antioxidants. Plus, botanicals soothe and nourish for increased health and radiance. The Glacial Hydrating Gel Mask creates immediate radiance, youthful suppleness and a more comfortable texture.

Adovia Dead Sea Mineral Mud is just, like, wow dude. I slopped this all over my nekkid self in the tub and lay there for about 20 minutes to let it dry. This is a good time to try some zen meditation, cause you don't want to be trying to read a book or walk around. You will be a scary mud monster.

It is a jar of 100% pure Dead Sea Mud (one of the few companies allowed to export it out of Israel) and no words can describe how incredible this is for your skin. it pulls toxins out of your pores, helps drain lymph nodes, smooths cellulite, and eases joint and muscle pain. It eases itching from eczema and rosacea and knocks out acne and blackheads. Seriously a miracle product. Be prepared to give your tub a good scrubbing afterwards, I've bathed my dog after a day in a mud pit and not had the tub so full of gunk! Soooooooo worth it. You will feel like you stripped a baby of it's skin and made an Ed Gein skin suit for yourself.

Seaside Soap And Candle Lemon Verbena Soap and votive candle

A little about the company first, from their website:

Hi! Welcome to Seaside Soap and Candle, this is a mother and daughter adventure. We create beautiful pearlescent candles made from pure palm wax, cosmetic grade fragrance oils and color.
Our soaps are handmade in small batches for quality control and made with an old-fashioned recipe using saponified olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil. Soaps may contain cosmetic grade fragrance oil, color, apricot meal or oatmeal.
Our intention is to provide you with products that nourish your senses,spirit and body.
We use local ingredients when possible and work with companies located in the USA. Hope you like what you see and will try our products. Samples available.
Please take a moment to view our handmade soaps and handcrafted candles. 

Our handmade soaps are created with 100% pure olive oil, which is loaded with antioxidants.  They also stimulate, protect, heal, moisturize, tone and firm our skin.

Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids that rejuvenate skin, keeping it soft and supple. Our handmade soaps are excellent for all skin types. 

Grape Seed Oil is rich in Vitamin E and linoleic acid - an essential fatty acid also known as Omega-6. It is a potent antioxidant that aids in skin repair and in diminishing the damaging effects of the sun. Grape seed oil's excellent emollient properties also nourish the skin keeping it smooth and supple. It helps tighten and tone while locking in skin's precious moisture. 

We make our handmade and hand poured soaps in small batches to provide our customers with the freshest and most natural ingredients possible.  Using our handmade soaps on a regular basis may help to nourish troubled skin and may be effective in preventing acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Our handcrafted candles are created using pure palm wax. Palm wax naturally creates beautiful crystal structures that form as the candle cools.  These handcrafted candles have an appearance that is pearlescent and they shine from within as they burn.  Our palm wax comes from palm trees which are cultivated on private plantations. Our handcrafted candles are created using palm wax that is eco-friendly, and comes from a sustainable tree crop. There is no threat to the rain forests.

So their palm candles are beautiful with a natural sparkle to them, and their soap? Holey moley! I don't know how they do it, but a bar lasts FOREVAH. Even keeping it in my shower where it stays humid, this puppy didn't even begin to melt, it lasted an eon and now I have the sliver left that I put in a soap saver, and it's STILL going strong! I think I'm going to be able to pass this bar of soap down to my grandchildren! The smell is subtle, so you have a pleasurable bathing experience without having to forgoe your scent choice after you bathe. It also makes you squeaky clean without drying the skin. 

Earth Rinse Aloe Vera Laundry Detergent

I have become so obsessed with natural and handmade laundry detergents of late. There's been a lot of information out there lately about all the nastiness going into our water supply, and the sulfates and chemicals in commercial laundry detergents are hideously notorious for the damage they cause to both wildlife and the environment. My husband told me that there have been cases recently of people using nasal pots and DYING from bacteria present in their TAP WATER. Shiver.....
 EarthRinse laundry soap is

- environmentally friendly
- Fels-Naptha free
- particularly good for babies and people with sensitive skin problems such as psoriasis or eczema.
- low sudsing and therefore harmless to front loaders
- harmless to washing machines, plumbing and septic tanks in general
- does not contain dyes, phosphates or chlorine
- not tested on animals
- neutralizes perspiration odors
- takes care of collar and cuff stains, food (e.g. mustard, chocolate, blueberry, cola, meat, grease spatters, olive oil) and other stains (e.g. make-up, blood, grass, clay)
- works well with cold water

It's unscented and leaves your clothes soft and clean. I tend to wash in cold water to preserve my clothing, and this worked absolutely fine in cold. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Etsy Shop Fun Favors

Fun Favors has a wide assortment of stuff to help you create a memorable party! I first heard of them when I received a package of the most ADORABLE cupcake wrappers from them in a Sampler Village sampler. Just in time for a friend's birthday who is quite deserving of the title Princess! Go to their store and you'll see all KINDS of stuff, however!

First you have your customized party favors, invitations, cupcake toppers and more. You can even get a full Deluxe Party Package with everything from customized invitations to a banner! 

There's TONS of adorable edible favors. You can get custom designed chocolates and cookies and one of my favorites, chocolate covered pretzels. The Silhouette Cookie Favors are especially ingenious- they actually use your real silhouette! 

The cookies are made fresh to order, so you can be sure that you'll get oooohs and ahhhhs. 

I'm pretty sure my absolute favorite is the Dia del Muerto cookies, however. The detail is stunning!
So in other words, if you want your party to stand out with one of a kind flair, check out Fun Favors and tell 'em The Beauty Pirate sent ya!