Is there really anything better than Vanilla? In my personal opinion, no. Vanilla is my scent. My entire life is vanilla. It's a problem, but it's a deliciously smelling problem and I own that.
I was cruising the aisles at Target, as I often do, just checking out what they have and I saw this body was that caught my eye instantly. Vanilla Bean + Sugar by a company called Raw Sugar. Vanilla and sugar? It wasn't even a question.
Sugar scrubs are my jam. They're right up there with lip balms and highlighter. I absolutely can't stand the feel of dry skin. And with summer around the corner, it's going to be skirts and dresses and sandal weather. Gotta keep that skin looking healthy and pretty! Scrubs are just as important during the warm months as they are during the cold months.
I recently purchases Chocolatier's Gift Sugar Body Scrub from Thesis Beauty. I use their mask of the same name a little over a year ago and really liked it, so I was excited to try this one. Bonus sample of their Rose + Vanilla hand and body cream too! I'll be talking about that as well at the end. Here's my thoughts on the scrub:
-The ingredients are 100% organic. There's nothing toxic or synthetic, and no fillers. It's all good stuff for your skin.
-The base is a mix of coconut and shea butter, so it's ultra hydrating.
-The raw cocoa not only makes it smells great, but it's full of antioxidants for your skin.
-The orange oil and spices also help boost circulation and enhance well being.
-The smell is decadent. It smells like spicy dark chocolate cake batter. It's so good. It really is a treat for your skin.
-It's highly packed with brown sugar. For my personal preference, the sugar crystals are a little too big. I prefer a finer grain since I have sensitive skin. I just have to be gentle using it and not overdo it on my skin.
-I used it on my legs, arms, and booty! It does leave a texture on your skin after, but it's not like a slimy texture, it's a moisture barrier. It does absorb though. I used mine before my body wash, which is Vanilla Bean and Sugar. I smelled like I belonged on a dessert table when I was done lol.
-Your tub gets slippery afterwards, so just be careful with that.
-The price isn't bad considering the size and the quality of the product. You get 10 oz for $22.95 which I find fair.
-Overall, I really like this product. Aside from having to be gentle with it, it does what it's supposed to, and the scent really makes it an enjoyable experience. I especially liked it on my feet, where my heels can get dry and I live for flip flops during this time of year. I applied my lotion afterwards, and my skin feels great! It's a warm day today, so I'm going to wear a dress or some capri pants (I don't do shorts) and show off my silky smooth legs!
Final thoughts: Thumbs up! 👍🏼
I also wanted to just briefly talk about the Rose + Vanilla Hand and Body Cream. It's heavy on the rose and light on the vanilla. It's very thick, so it's not a cream I can use and go, like at work. I only used it on my hands, but I really think that it would work better on your body than your hands. I prefer more vanilla scent than the rose, but other than that it'll do wonders for your body if you have dehydrated skin. It's good to bring on the go too, since it's a sample size. I'm so glad that it came free because I really wanted to try that one! It's like they were reading my mind! I probably wouldn't buy it, simply because it's too rosy for me, but I do like it overall!
Have you tried any Thesis Beauty products? I would love to hear your thoughts!
It's about that time of year. Summer. Most people like summer. I do not. It's hot and humid, I sweat like a man, hair constantly frizzes out like a lions mane, makeup melts off, and acne. The dreaded acne. If you're one of those lucky people who doesn't break out, I'm jealous and also kind of hate you a little bit. Just a little bit though! I'm kidding of course, but this post doesn't apply to you. This post is for those of us who struggle with acne, especially in the dreaded sweltering summer months.
Here's some tips I've learned to help keep my face clear, which is a daily chore for me.
-Get a good but nonabrasive face wash that's meant for acne. If you've read any of my previous post about acne, you know that Paula's Choice Clear collection is my go to 24/7/365.
-Make sure you're washing your face morning and night, no exceptions! I get it, you're tired or you woke up late, but you gotta do it. Force yourself to do it. Remind yourself what a face full of acne looks like. That should do motivate you enough to get your butt in gear.
-Make sure you're taking ALL of your makeup off. I suggest using a white towel to make sure when you pat dry your face (never rub), you can make sure all that foundation is off your face since you won't see any on the towel. Juice Beauty has these bamboo wash clothes for your face and they're amazingly soft and gentle on your skin. I use a konjac sponge at night when taking off my foundation, because it gets in there to make sure I'm fully removing my makeup, and it also gently exfoliates, which brings me to my next point...
-EXFOLIATE! But not harshly. No scrubbing beads. Think chemical exfoliation. I use Paula's Choice Salicylic Acid in the morning under my makeup, then BHA9 overnight. Both of these have been gentle enough that I haven't had any issues with peeling or irritation on my skin. The only thing that irritates me is Benzoyl Peroxide.
-Designate a towel just for your face, so there's no cross contamination from your hand washing towel or what have you. I do this year round because I'm a freak with towels anyway. I change my hand towels almost daily but use paper towels 99% of the time.
-Moisturize. Just because you're acne prone doesn't mean you shouldn't use a moisturizer. Skin that gets dried out overcompensates by producing more oil. My moisturizer is different depending on the season. Fall and winter I use Paula's Choice Earth Source lotion, and in the spring and summer I use Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Moisture Gel. It's lightweight and provides me with enough moisture but it's not as heavy as the Earth Source one.
-Your makeup needs change during the summer too. Adjust them accordingly. You may have to blot your face more, and apply finishing powder a few times more than normal.
-Use SPF! Paula's Choice makes an SPF specifically for acne prone skin and I highly suggest it. PSA: You should also be using SPF year round anyway!
-Do your very best not to touch your face. I'm so guilty of this year, but it's a little easier when I'm at work because I'm not touching my face with dirty fingers after handling money.
-Change your pillows cases frequently. Between sweat and dirt from your hair and face, they get dirty pretty quickly.
-I feel like this one goes without saying and it's another one that you need to do year round. Drink more water! Beautiful skin comes from within and I can guarantee you're probably not drinking enough water. Drink more water and eat better foods.. your skin and your body in general will thank you!
That's a good list to start, but there's always more to add. I hope the upcoming weather is gentle on your skin. May you look and feel as beautiful as you truly are.
You've probably seen a lot of buzz in recent years about Himalayan Salt Lamps. They've become increasingly popular. I've always wanted one, but for one reason or another never bought one. My sister recently picked one up and kept telling me how great it is and that I had to get one. I had like five of them in my Amazon shopping cart, but she actually texted me before I made a purchase telling me she found a nice one at Homegoods for $20 and asked if I wanted her to pick it up for me. Um, absolutely!
I was so excited to use it. I plugged it in my bedroom as soon as I could. It's been a week, and I wanted to tell you about my experience with it so far.
Let me start off by saying that I love it. Let's get that out of the way. But I wanna tell you why.
First of all, it's just truly beautiful to look at. I know, a giant block of salt is beautiful... I sound crazy. But it is. It adds an element of nature to your space, which I absolutely love. Each one is unique and different. This one said it could be between 8-13 pounds. I think mine is about 10 pounds, give or take. I love that it's heavy because my ninja cats will do their absolute best to knock it over and destroy it. It's not polished, it's unrefined and misshaped and it's awesome. It sits on a natural wooden base, which brings it all together.
Second, this one has a dimmer, so it can be as bright or as low as I want it to be. The lighting is so soothing. It's like a campfire. It's got that orange glow of burning embers. I keep it on all night on dimmed and it really is a great and unobtrusive light. It's really soothing to fall asleep too.
Third, it doesn't get hot no matter how high or how long it's on for. I am a paranoid freak when it comes things like that, always afraid something's gonna cause a fire. I place my straightener on the marble sink, away from anything flammable, so it's not hot anywhere unsafe. I only light candles in my presence, and blow them out with an least one hour to spare before I leave or go to bed. I often times double and triple check the stove and oven to make sure they're off. So for me to feel comfortable enough leaving this on all night without fear of a fire, that's a big deal. I do still unplug it when I leave the house, but still.
Lastly, I really feel like it does have a positive effect on the energy in the room. There's a real sciencey explanation behind them, about positive and negatively charged ions. I'll save the science part, but break it down as best I can in the simplest terms. It purifies the air of positive ions and leaves behind negative ions, leaving the air feeling charged and invigorating. So with daily use, it'll clear the air of all the bad stuff and leave the good stuff. I'm very sensitive to energies (part of being an empath), and I can really feel a difference in my bedroom after using this salt lamp. I'm actually gonna buy another one for my living room. And maybe more. Who knows?! The more the merrier.
Check your local Homegoods, and check Amazon. If you have Prime, you can get a nice one for cheap shipped right to your door in two days tops. I can't believe I waited so long to finally get one. Don't hesitate, go out and get yourself one today!
Meaningful Paws is a company I've made several purchases from..
I bought these two items about a month ago, and I wanna talk to you about them today.
First, "Vegan Bunny" pin!
So, I've recently started collecting pins. I have a pin board where I put all of them. It's become one of my favorite collections. So when I saw this pin, I was like ADD TO CART, no questions asked. Also, I absolutely adore this design. I just think it's so cute!
I was impressed by the size of it first and foremost. It's pretty large. Also, it's really well built and pretty sturdy. My only disappointment is that the back wasn't the lapel pin I thought it was. I thought it was like a push pin with the rubber backing, and it's not. It's that brooch style pin. I was still able to put it on my pin board, even if it doesn't sit perfectly. I still love it, and price was right ($11), and think it's a great addition to my pin board!
Lastly, "My Friend" unisex sweatshirt.
I've recently become a big fan of sweatshirts versus hoodies. Don't get me wrong, I still love hoodies, but I'm really giving on sweatshirts the older I get. Somehow they feel more mature than hoodies..? I don't know. But what I do know is that I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it. I think pigs are beautiful and wonderful creatures. When you learn about them, it's truly hard not to love them. They're intelligent and loving. This design shows pigs living in a carefree happy world, chowing down on some wild flowers.. just living the dream. This is my dream, and it's a dream many others like myself share too. Animals living in peace without the threat of harm or danger.
Although it's unisex, I bought a size medium, as I prefer larger sweatshirts. It's pre-laundered for minimal shrinkage, but I still washed mine in cold water and let it hang dry. I like the fit of it. It's very soft on the inside. I was kind of hoping the fabric had a little more give to it, but buying a larger size made that less of an issue. I prefer a lot of stretch because I do not like feeling confined. But this doesn't feel confining, all things considered. This sweatshirt is actually on sale for $31 (originally $48) which is a steal, so get it while you can!
Meaningful Paws always donates a portion of sales to animal advocacy organizations, so you can support a small business, look fashionable doing it, and help animals all in one. You can't go wrong! Check out their website, and give them a follow on Instagram so you never miss a post!
Today I wanna talk about Lush's Salted Coconut hand scrub.
Here's my thoughts:
-When I bought this, for some reason, it didn't register in my head until I got home that it was a salt scrub. Don't ask me how I missed the "SALTED" Coconut part, but I did. Fortunately, I realized it before I used it on my hands.
-Whoever invented salt scrubs, in particular for hands, never had eczema, or even dry skin for that matter. The phrase "salt in your wounds" was invented for a reason. Salt hurts. So, I don't use this as a hand scrub. I use it as a foot scrub.
-The smell is kind of odd. It does smell like coconut, but also Playdoh in a way. It's not the worse smelling thing in the world, and the scent isn't very strong either. I guess I was just hoping for a beachy kind of smell, and it's not that.
-The texture isn't too thick that it's hard to spread. In a base of coconut oil, as it gets warmer it gets more liquidy. It's really creamy. The salt size and ratio is good in that it's not too abrasive for your skin but it does what it's supposed to do.
-I very much like it for a foot scrub. It leaves my skin soft and moisturized, although I do recommend using a moisturizer afterwards. I've been using my Pistachio Foot Cream by Desert Essence and together they keep my feet sandal ready. I usually use it once a week, in the shower.
-The ingredients are really great for your skin. Aside from the obvious coconut oil and salt, there's also Argan oil, tofu, Neroli oil, and lemon infusion.
-I find it quite pricy for the size, but then again, most things from Lush are pricy. I got the 4.5 oz size which costs $16.95, and the larger size is 10.5 oz and that's $29.95, so both pretty high.
-Overall, I do like it, but I wouldn't purchase it again. It's too much work to try to avoid the sensitive spots on my hands while trying to adequately scrub my feet. I prefer sugar scrub all day. My favorite being from Ghoulish Delights.
Have you guys tried this one yet? I would love to hear your thoughts!
I know it's been way too long since I've last posted, and I apologize for that. I've had a lot of stuff going on, and things haven't been great. I've got SO much to blog about too!
Today I wanna talk about my new FitBit! I actually bought one model, and returned it for another.
I originally got the FitBit Flex 2, then I traded it in for the Alta HR.
I'm gonna share my opinions of the pros and cons of both. First is the Flex 2.
Now lets talks about the Alta HR.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS:
-I think that the FitBits are great for those trying to work harder on their fitness (such as myself.) There's probably much better other options if you're a hardcore fitness junkie, but for those like me, they're great.
-The prices seem to be fair all things considered, and the fancier models cost more, as to be expected. The Flex 2 I got for $89 on Amazon, and it retails for $100. The Alta HR I got for $147 on Amazon, and it retails for $150. If you're a Prime Member, you can get them with Free One Day Shipping which is great if you're an impatient person like me.
-All FitBits come with a small or large option for band sizing. The Flex 2 even came with both small and large bands in the box, which is cool. The Alta HR you had to choose your size when ordering. I have super tiny wrists, like I mean kid sized, so I was thrilled they offered a small sized option.
-I don't think that the heart rate is completely accurate. They use like LED lasers to calculate blood flow through the capillaries or something like that. Heart rate isn't terribly important considering I don't really "work out," but I more or less use it to help with my anxiety. When I feel panicky, it helps me to see my heart rate isn't through the roof.
-All the auto recognize work out features calculate after ten minutes. That's the lowest option it offers. I wish it would be automatic from start to finish. This applies to both the Flex 2 and Alta HR, and probably all the other FitBits too.
-The sleep feature is truly awesome, which is the primary reason I bought it. I have horrible horrible insomnia. But I don't find it totally accurate. For example, if you wake up and don't start moving right away, or sync your phone as soon as you open your eyes, it calculates you slept longer than you did. Who wants to start wiggling their arm the minute they open their eyes in the morning? Also, it doesn't calculate naps unless their an hour long. You can log it manually, but that wouldn't be accurate. I have no clue if and when I take naps all the details of them. Truly though, despite my complaints, the sleep feature is pretty good. I can't say it's whole heartedly accurate, but I do think it does a pretty good job.
-I was surprised by how comfortable the heart rate sensor for the Alta HR is on my wrist. I'm still adjusting to wearing something constantly (I have tactile sensitivities), but overall it's not that bad. The Flex 2 was even better as far as comfort goes.
-Considering the same price, the Charge 2 has more options than the Alta HR (like the guided breathing), and I would've preferred that, but it was too chunky compared to the Alta HR. So I sacrificed certain features for size, since that's important to me. I need it to be comfortable all day, especially while I sleep. But I think considering the price being the same, they really should've included extra features or reduced the price, even if it was only by $20.
-My choice is the Alta HR. I returned my Flex 2 and chose the Alta HR. The sleep feature and heart rate feature won me over. There truly is a FitBit for everyone though, so do your research first before you buy one. They're a solid investment. I'm glad I got one. It's encourages me to move, with reminders if I haven't taken 250 steps in an hour, and every time I see my steps increase it motivates me to do more and more.
Today I'm reviewing Illuminare Liquid Mineral Foundation for you guys! Truth be told, I haven't read one bad review on it, which is highly unusual, especially for foundation. They offer samples on their website in their three most common shades for $15, so I figured I'd give it a shot!
When I first received them in the mail, this is what my package looked like:
Clearly one of the little tubes exploded or got smooshed or something. I called their Customer Service and they sent me a replacement for free which I received in 3 days flat. So, major props for their customer service right off the bat.
Finding a foundation to match my skin is impossible. That's why I like that three shades were included. The darkest shade they sent would never work on me in a million years, but the other two I thought maybe. Portofino Porcelain (light) is an ivory beige with neural undertones, and the lightest shade they sent. Florentine Fair is medium with yellow/beige undertones. Lastly, Sienna Sun is tan, think J.Lo, for those with olive complexions. They also have three different finishes. Moisturizing finish is for that dewy look, for those with normal to dry skin. Concealing is semi-mate and can be used for full coverage foundation or even as a concealer, for normal to combo skin types. Lastly, matte is medium to full coverage for those with normal to oily skin. So you get 3 shades in 3 finishes for a total of 9 products.
All of their foundations are vegan and cruelty free. They don't use any artificial dyes, colors, fragrances, carmine, mica, or any other skin irritating ingredient and they're dermatologist recommended. All of this is wonderful for a vegan with lots of skin sensitivities and that's prone to breakouts!
Let's talk colors first. All in all they only offer five shades. Skin comes in more than five shades. That's probably my only real con is their lack of shades. They say on their website you can mix and match to create your perfect shade but honestly, who has time for that? The Portofino Porcelain which I thought would work best on my skin is too light. It also casts a weird kind of gray color on my skin. I mentioned above Sienna Sun wouldn't work at all as a foundation, but I'm thinking of trying it as a bronzer. I don't wanna waste it. The Florentine Fair is the closest to my shade. It's not a perfect match, but once I apply my Jane Iredale powder foundation on top it matches pretty good.
I wanted to do like a before and after kinda deal, completely unretouched so you can get an idea of the color and coverage. As you can see, I have my acne scar on top (which is my most noticble one), as well as two pimples that I undoubtedly picked and made 10x worse (thank you anxiety.) You can see on my right side some general redness and uneven skin tone. The pictures on the left are no makeup at all, the middle is just the Illuminare foundation, and the right side is the Illuminare foundation with my Jane Iredale powder on top.
For this, I used the Concealing Finish. I don't need to apply it all over my face, just the spots that need it. I have a feeling when the summertime hits I'll need more the Mattifying one, then the winter I'll probably need the Moisturzing. I really love that they offer three finishes. My skin changes with the season, so I need my makeup to do that too.
A little of this goes a long way. I only really need a few dabs of it and I use my EcoTools Beauty Blender Sponge to apply it and it works really well. My redness is literally gone after applying it. It does a pretty good job at covering my dark spots too. Not perfect, which is fine because I don't expect perfection, but better than anything I've ever used. Unfortunately it can only do so much on picked spots, as you should expect, since the surface is so uneven. But it did cover them generally well, so I was happy about that. I'm most happy because this foundation isn't cakey and even though I'm only using it on certain spots of my face, my face blends together seamlessly.
They have a special pad to apply it on their website, which I plan on buying when I buy the full size, which I'll be doing. I'm impressed with the coverage of this foundation, and I'm most impressed that it doesn't feel heavy or cakey and hasn't broken me out worse than I currently am. I'm having a bad skin funk right now (I think due to stress) and I'm glad this hasn't made it worse. This foundation comes in .5 oz tubes, so no frills and nothing fancy about the packaging. It's made just to be used properly and that's it, which is great. Make haste not waste! And it retails for $29. Definitely pricier by volume than most foundations. But since this is so concentrated you will use less, so the price seems fair all things considered.
Personally, I'm a fan. And I highly suggest spending the $15 to get the samples before making a full size purchase. If you have any questions, I'm happy to help answer them as best I can!
You guys might remember a while back I was getting Beauty Boxes. VeganCuts and Petit Vour were two of my favorites. I ended up stopping for two reasons, one of which was money (the reason for all things), and the second was the mix of products I was receiving. I love body care products, but I kept getting a lot of face care products which I couldn't use since my face is a constant overly sensitive mess, and I ended up not using more than I was using, so I just stopped. I loved the idea of just having a makeup box. I love makeup, and I love trying new eye shadows, lip stuff, and all the makeup things.
I recently discovered that VeganCuts started doing a quarterly beauty box, all full size makeup products, and makeup tools. Thick brushes and eyelash curlers, things of that nature. Each quarter, so basically every season, you get a box full of 4-5 full size products for $40. Not a bad deal at all. And since they're seasonal, the colors tend to go with that season. Better yet, each box you can fill out a beauty profile type quiz which, if there's several different color options, will allow you to have a better chance at getting the color you want. Awesome right?
Here's this seasons box, entitled Spring Paradise:
Here's the list of what it includes and what they retail for:
That's a whopping $104 value for $40 so totally worth it! Oh plus an adorable little sticker, if you noticed that in the box! I think it's so cute!
First let's talk about the lipgloss. It's a shade called Divine by Elate Cosmetics.
This shade is a coral shimmer. It was the one option they allowed us to customize this box. I rarely wear coral, that's why I got it. Go outside of the box you know? Plus coral is a perfect shade for the warmer weather. The color isn't too bright but it's noticeable. It's got a great shine to it, and it's not very sticky. I like the shimmer a lot too. It makes your lips pop. My lips felt pretty conditioned too. The base is coconut oil, jojoba oil, castor seed oil, and a lot of other lip loving ingredients. I applied it over my lip balm, but not every time I applied it. I wore it throughout the day at work, and it held up really well considering all my talking, drinking, and eating I did throughout the day. The peppermint oil is subtle but it adds a nice little touch. I greatly appreciate that it's not overbearing, as some peppermint oil infused lip glosses can be.
My work lighting sucks but here's a photo of me wearing it so you can get an idea of how it looks on the skin:
I actually really love this stuff. It's $14.20 USD, $19 CAD (they're a Canadian company.)
Next up, Radiance Bronzer/Highlighter duo by Manna Kadar Cosmetics.
I've actually only been using this as an eyeshadow, which I love it for. I only use matte bronzers, and this one has shimmer, so I wouldn't use it as a bronzer. Which is surprising because I literally love shimmer in all other aspects of my life, but not with bronzers. But the colors really compliment my brown eyes well.
And it lasts a decent amount of time throughout the day too. I also feel like the pan is too small to use it as a bronzer or highlighter, in my opinion. You couldn't get the right size brush in there to use them for that purpose. But I do really love it as an eye shadow, so I'm glad it was included in the box. I prefer neutral colors on my eyes. This retails for $21.
Next up, Romance Eye Shadow by Han Skincare Cosmetics.
In one of my other boxes at one point I got another Han Skincare Cosmetics eyeshadow in the shade Taupey Plum and it's one of my go to shadows so naturally I was excited when I saw this one in there. This shade is described as rose gold with shimmer finish. It's a really pretty color, but for some reason it doesn't show up very well on my eyes. The Taupey Plum shows up great, so I think it's weird. I think if I used a primer (I literally never do), I think the color would show up better. The color is really pretty though, and they have a wonderful formula because their shadows are always smooth and glide on easily. This retails for $13.
Next up, BWC mascara.
Actually, this was the teaser for this box that made me sign up in the first place. This mascara retails for $26 alone, which is more than half the box value, and I've always wanted to try it but never have. The brush initially seemed too big for my preference, but it actually worked pretty well. There was no clumping. I didn't get any flakes falling off into my eyes throughout the day. Definitely added volume and length to my lashes. I liked it a lot. I'm also thankful it's not waterproof because I can't stand waterproof mascara. That stuff never comes off. All the mascara I use is expensive anyway because of my eyelid sensitivities, so to me $26 isn't bad. I still wouldn't mind if they made a smaller brush version, I know I would like that better.
Lastly, they threw in an eyelash curler from Jersey Shore Cosmetics as an added bonus, which you can see in my reveal photo. This is actually a really nice eye lash curler. It's black (bonus points from the girl who loves all black everything), it's stainless steel which is great for skin sensitivity. It comes with an extra pad for when the one on it wears out, which is nice. If I read the website correctly, it retails for $30. Personally I would never pay that for an eyelash curler. But considering my skin is sensitive to, oh everything, and I know that nickel allergies are common and nickel is commonly found in metal eyelash curlers, this stainless steel option is pretty cool.
So there you have it! The Spring Quarterly VeganCuts Beauty Box. If I'm rating this, I give it a B+. There was some awesome products in this box and I had fun trying them all.
Have you received this box? What are your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!