Friday, September 26, 2008
I have dealt with acne most of my adult life and have had quite a few major breakouts. My worst breakouts happened in my 20s and I tried many products to try and help. I used over the counter, drugstore, prescription, and department store products and spent plenty of money trying to find a solution. I tried a few systems too like Proactiv and Murad. None of the products seemed to help but I just kept slathering stuff on in hopes of clear skin. Little did I know that not only were these product not helping-they may have been making my acne worse. Most of these products were full of chemicals and at that time I never paid much attention to anything more than the active ingredients.
Then I decided to change my eating habits. I ate more fruits, veggies, and I read labels of every food product before buying-this was to make sure that the ingredients were natural. As I began to read food labels I also began reading ALL of the ingredients in my skincare products. I researched many of these ingredients and they were mostly chemicals designed to enhance the look, feel, and smell of the products. I then decided I would try to find natural options for skincare and at that time there were not very many options. Though as time went on I saw more and more natural products pop. I tried many of these products and some of them were ok but I had plenty of failures.
Finally, after much trial and error, I found a few products that have helped me stay pretty clear. I remove my make up with coconut oil or watermelon seed oil. Also, I stopped using fancy cleansers and now use Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil Liquid Soap. I tone with diluted tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar, and/or witch hazel. I also sometime use Na-pca spray (non-oily) lotion from Twinlab. All of these products are pretty inexpensive and can be found at amazon.com, mothernature.com, vitacost.com and other online store.
One of the more pricey products I use is Mychelle Clear Skin Serum which runs from about $25 to $35. I found this product worked very well and I have spent way more than $35 for skincare before. Mychelle products can be found at whole foods, amazon.com, vitacost.com, and the Mychelle website-mychelleusa.com.
A couple of other products I like are from a California based company called Sumbody-sumbody.com. My favorite products from Sumbody are the Save Our Skin (S.O.S) Facial Serum ($29.95) and the Zapper Zit ($14.95). Last but not least comes the moisturizer. My skin tends to be oily and many beauty people will tell you that If you are oily, and don't moisturize, your skin will produce more oil. Then some other beauty experts will say you can skip the moisturizer because your skin is already producing what moisturizing products are trying to emulate. I have decided to moisturize but only at night. I use Bee Yummy's Skin Food and it has become my favorite moisturizer to date. It is made from honey, honey cappings, propolis and other good stuff. I have been using it for about a year and I feel it has help my skin clear up. Bee Yummy Skin Food can be found at live-live.com and oneluckyduck.com. It comes in three sizes- 2 oz for $29, 4 oz for $49, and 16 oz for $147.
I do sample other product from time to time but these products are my mainstays.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
My favorite workout dvds of the moment are from Women's Health Magazine (womenshealthmag.com). There is the Total Workout in Ten which have 10 minute routines each of cardio, upper body strength, lower body strength, and flexibility/balance. There is also a bonus core strength segment. I like this format because it allows you to customize your workout. You can do one ten minute routine (if you're feeling lazy, or dont have time) or build the routines to workout your whole body. I find the intensity of these routines to be moderate. They are not too hard but if you never workout it will be difficult. Three pound hand weights are used for this dvd but I use 5 lbs dumbells. The bonus core power segment requires a balance ball.
My other favorite is the Ultimate Fat Burn which claims to burn up to 500 calories. It also claims to rev up your metabolism-so you are burning calories when you're resting. This workout combines two cardio blasts and two strength training blasts. There is also a warm up and a cool down stretch session. I would say this workout also has a moderate intensity level. Though the stronger you get the easier it will become. And I defintely have become stronger with these workouts. Three pounds hand weights are used for this workout.
The trainer on both dvds is Amy Dixon who I find very easy to workout with. She is not too over the top, corny, super- hyped, or annoyingly smiley like other trainers -but still manages to motivate. There are also 6 or 7 other participants working out with her. One of these ladies perfom easier or modified versions of some of the moves. I find this helpful for those times I don't have as much energy.
I bought both of my dvds from Amazon.com but I am sure they can be found at other video retailers.
Many years ago my mom worked for Avon so there were always perfume and body products around. There were especially lots of perfumes that were packaged in collectible or keepsake bottles and containers. I was especially fond of a locket that had solid perfume in it-I thought it was so cool.
Now, I have recently been seeing solid perfumes popping up again, so of course I had to check them out. So far I have bought solid perfumes from Pacifica- pacificaperfume.com and Lush Cosmetics- lush.com. I went totally wild and bought way too many perfumes from both places. For instance, I bought about five perfumes from Pacifica. They were $8.95 each and %15 percent off-so I just went for it. The scents I bought were Tuscan Blood Orange, Brazilian Mango Grapefruit, Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Bali Lime Papaya, and Malibu Lemon Blossom. I like them all especially the Blood Orange. Plus Pacifica also has spicy and woodsy scents like sandalwood and amber-If u don't like the fruity stuff.
When I bought the Lush perfumes I got about four at $12 and some change. The scents I got were American Cream, Silky Underwear, Champagne Snow Showers (seasonal), and Honey I washed the Kids. These fragrances come from other popular Lush products that have been around for years (conditioners, powders, soaps). I then returned to Lush and bought Go Green and Fever. I like the Champagne Snow Showers the most-too bad it is only around during Christmas.
Now, that may seem like way to many fragrances for one girl to have, but I'm obsessed. Plus, I love to layer scents and solid perfume are perfect because they are usually pretty subtle. And they last a long time. I also like the idea of not smelling like everyone else- so I mix and match scents all the time. Even if I have a fragrance that smells just ok- I can add something and make it great. Yay me!!!
Both Pacifica and Lush use organic ingredients in their solid perfumes . The perfumes are also vegan. Yay them!!!!
One of my favorite new treats is the Raw Organic Amazon Bliss Coconut Butter Spread by Artisana. I picked up a jar at Whole Foods and read the ingredients which included many superfoods such as acai, maca, goji berries, and cacao nibs. These superfoods are suppose to be extremely healthy and contain protective antioxidants. Amazon Bliss is also raw, organic, and vegan-so figured I would give it a try.
I bought the jar for about $9.99, took it home, and tried it on a cracker. I was completely surprised at how great it tasted. I can't quite describe the taste but it is delicious. I have used it on toast, crackers, plain yogurt, smoothies, and hot cocoa. Artisana also has a few other products like this that I want to try (Goji Bliss and Cacao Bliss). I will definitely buy these on my next shopping trip.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Cubs Clinch!!!! I have lived in Chicago all of my life and although most of my family and friends live on the south side (Sox Side), they are all avid Cubs fans-Especially my beau. I myself have never been a serious sports fan but it easy to get caught up in all the mania. Everyone is so excited and I'm catching a little bit of the fever too. GO CUBS GO!!!!!!!!!
Over the years I have tried many different foundations trying to find that perfect match. Liquids never gave the coverage I wanted and creams, cream to powder, and powder foundations were always to heavy. Plus my skin tends to be a bit oily and sensitive-so some of these foundations made me oilier and caused breakouts. Then I heard about mineral makeup and thought I would give it a try.
The first mineral foundation I tried (this was probably around the year 1999) was Bare Minerals. I was visiting Denver, Colorado and saw the Bare Escentuals store so I decided to go in and buy the foundation. I tried it for a few weeks and I liked the texture and the light feel. However, the shade didn't work for me. So I just went back to using my liquids and creams.
Years later,I started to search for other mineral foundations online. I came across 3 different companies that offered samples of their foundations and other color cosmetics. These companies were Youngblood cosmetics- ybskin.com, Sevi Cosmetics- sevicosmetics.com and Monave-monave.com. I bought samples of mineral foundation from all three companies and while I liked them all my favorite was from Youngblood.
The Younblood mineral foundation was light, smooth, and I found a shade that matched like no other foundation. Plus it has never caused me to breakout and you can build coverage without it looking too heavy. I have been using it for a couple of years and I always get complements on my skin. I also use their rice setting powder which is great for oily skin.
One of my favorite chocolate treats of the moment is the Isle of Skye chocolate bar made by a company called Seeds of Change. This bar is sort of a grown up version of the crunch bar . It is made of dark milk chocolate (milk chocolate with a higher cacao content) and puffy, crispy grains. The puffed grains are made from whole oat flour, red wheat flour, brown rice flour, rye flour,barley flour, and millet flour. I really love the taste and texture of this bar. It is not cloyingly sweet and the grains are light and crispy unlike some crunch bars. Plus there are no artificial sweeteners or preservatives and it's all organic. I bought my bar at Whole Foods but they are available at www.seedsofchangefoods.com. Seeds of change have a lot of other products such as rice, grains, salad dressings, and more. They also are committed to sustainable organic agriculture and donates part of their net sales to worldwide organic agriculture causes. This makes me feel a lot less guilty about indulging in chocolate from time to time.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I buy a lot of bath,body, and beauty samples from a few different websites. This is how I curb my urge to buy expensive products that I really can't afford. Plus if I don't like a particular product I've only lost a few dollars instead of twenty, thirty, forty dollars, or more. My favorite sites to buy samples from are: luckyscent.com, beautyhabit.com, aedes.com, and saffronrouge.com.
At luckyscent you can buy individual samples of much sought after perfume and body products. Prices for samples at luckyscent run from about $2 and above. Both aedes and beautyhabit have sampling programs in which you pay $15 for about 6 or 7 samples of your choice.
Saffronrouge has a sort of sample of the month which I love. For $35 saffron rouge will send you 2 to 3 samples every month for a year. Plus saffron rouge sells products that are natural and organic- so most of the products do not contain preservatives, parabens, and other artificial stuff.