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Showing posts with label skincare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skincare. Show all posts

Friday, August 3, 2018


Skincare and I were slow getting to know each other.  I had a casual relationship with exfoliation until my mid-30's.  I craved good exfoliation for my dry skin which eventually motivated me to start courting retinol and moisturizer.   Proper skincare, anti-aging regimens, brightening and tightening weren't even in my imagination at the time.  I didn't realize that good products can delay some obvious signs of aging and help to correct others.  One of the basic skincare facts I found out over the next several years was that facial skincare can and should be used on the neck and chest as well.  Granted, I was slow to learn about the beauty side of life, but I honestly had no idea!!  It was life changing information.  Fast forward to the present where you all know my skincare relationship status is "committed til death do us part".  That means good neck and decollete treatments are a must have!!

Recently, I've been using Image Skincare the MAX Stem Cell Neck Lift, (2 fl oz / $89).  If a brand wants to test a neck cream, my neck is the place to do it.  It's been physically ravaged by two major surgeries and a full year in a neck brace following the second one.  My two surgical scars join together at the base of the front of my neck and form an ironic smile line.  The year in the brace aged my neck rapidly causing sagging and atrophy beyond my years.  It was all pretty horrifying to see when the brace came off. I was using retinol on it as my only skincare for a few years, having to take major breaks in skincare treatment for the surgeries and the extended recovery treatments.

I thought all was lost when I could no longer use my retinol on my neck due to a sensitivity I developed.  Was I doomed to spend the rest of my life in black turtlenecks?  Perish the thought!!!  The Max Stem Cell Neck Lift came at a time that I was really discouraged about what to do with my neck.  So I started using it.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

My neck had been looking at least 15 years older than I am.  I think it looks much better now.  A lot of the dropping and sagging has firmed up and the lines are diminished.  I have seen progress.  It's been 4 years since I got out of the neck brace and this is definitely the best my neck has looked since then.  The sag is so much turkey waddle is diminished by quite a bit!  I'm pretty happy with what I've seen.

These are the claims made by the company:

+ Supports elasticity to maintain firmness and support

+ Improves the look of neck sagging and jawline contour

+ Brightens and tightens skin

+ Reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crepey skin

+ Improve firmness

+ Improve elasticity

+ Improve skin hydration

It is my experience that the cream lives up to the claims.  I don't know about brightening, myself, because my neck is pretty white with no discoloration anywhere except in the scarring, also very white also.  I feel like my neck is about as bright as they get, unless I self tan, so I really have nothing to say about that claim but I definitely have had noticeable results that correspond to the others.

Before we part, I want to tell you what is in this product that brings such remarkable results. The main ingredients include skin strengthening peptides and plant stem cells as well as VECTORIZE TECHNOLOGY® (anti-aging complex), BV-OSC (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate), Camellia Sinensis (green tea) leaf extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) and Guarana Extract.

You can learn more about Image Skincare by visiting their website.  Follow along on social media via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Do yourself a favor and if you're not already drawing your facial skincare down your neck,  start today!  It will make a world of difference as you get older.  Remember that neck skin is often more sensitive than facial skin so start a little slowly and build up.

What are you using to tone and take care of your neck?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Coachella And Festival Season Tips - Fashion And Beauty

Today I'm going to talk to you with my best tips for enjoying summer, Coachella type events and Festival season.  As much as you want to groove where the music takes you, you'll also want to be prepared.  I hope you'll enjoy my tips, (I totally forgot to include deodorant in my list), and my special minute with over and under 40s.

What are some of your favorite tips for enjoying things outside? I'd love to hear.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Pixi Beauty Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse Collaboration Review #PixiPretties

Many, many squeals of excitement erupted from me when I received my Pixi Pretties package with four collaborations that Pixi Beauty created with beauty influencers.  It was a huge box the size of a suitcase.

The box is so big, there was nowhere in my home with adequate lighting to take pictures.  The Pixi Pretties collaboration contains four unique sets of creations which are found when I open the delicious box.

Each collab will be featured either here on my blog, on my youtube channel, or both.

It's Judy Time created full eye and lip kits.

Aspyn Ovard worked with Petra, Pixi Beauty brand creator and owner, to formulate three glow-y cheek powders and a kit containing a lower lash mascara and brow gel.

Maryam Maquillage, one of the nicest youtubers on the planet, created 2 face palettes and a superb double ended brush to go with them.

And now we come to collaborator, blogger and youtube beauty guru Caroline Hirons.  With Pixi Beauty, Caroline created the genius Double Cleanse, (3.36 oz, $24).


If you watch or read her channel, you'll recognize that Caroline is nothing short of brilliant.  She's intelligent and knowledgeable and a true treasure trove of information about everything beauty.  She has completely earned her unofficial title of skincare guru.  Ms. Hirons has long been an advocate of double cleansing and it's just appropriate that the Double Cleanse is her Pixi baby.


What is double cleansing?  It's the idea which comes to us initially from K skincare practices of cleansing by removing makeup and daily grime first with an oil or balm.  After the oil or balm is rinsed off,  a nourishing moisturizing cream is used to remove the balm remnants and any leftover  oiliness or film and complete the cleansing of the skin.  You face will never be cleaner than with a double cleansing system.

Can you just use the oil to take off your makeup?  Sure, but if you've done that, you'll recognize the need to cleanse the balm remnants from the face and the cleansing cream does just that.  Afterward, your skin feels nourished rather than stripped and is completely clear of all makeup.  You'll see that the brilliance of the packaging makes this really easy to do, with the cleansing balm on one side and the cleansing cream on the other.  Plus, there is an inner lid to keep everything nice, pretty and seperate.

skincare, Pixi + Caroline Hirons

Pixi + Caroline Hirons, skincare

For me, this is the perfect product delivery.  I've only double cleansed about 1/3rd of the time prior to receiving this package.  It was one more step and one more product that I had to get out so I often would hurry through my cleansing steps.  And leaving two different cleansers on the vanity to be able to double cleanse took up a lot of room.  This product makes my life easier, having both forms of cleansing available with the simple lifting of just one lid.

It's a big jar so it will last awhile.  It is bigger than the palm of my big ol' hand.

Pixi + Caroline Hirons, skincare

I'm thinking of getting a couple as back ups because I can't imaging what I'll do when it's gone.  I'm really hoping Pixi makes this a permanent item in their skincare products.  My favorites are pictured below, which I've talked about on youtube, Instagram and my snapchat quite a bit.

Pixi +  Caroline Hirons, skincare

The Double Cleanse is full of anti-aging ingredients that I'm really excited about and no nasty parabens or fragrances.  Here are the ingredients in both sides of the Double Cleanse:

Solid Cleansing Oil INGREDIENTS: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, PEG-8 Isostearate, Polyethylene, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylgylcerin, Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil. Cleansing Cream INGREDIENTS: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dipropylene Glycol, Sorbitan Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-40 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Arginine, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ascorbic Acid, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Maltodextrin, Butylene Glycol, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, sh-Decapeptide-7, sh-Octapeptide-4, sh-Oligopeptide-9. 2 x 50ml / 1.69 fl.oz

I'll say it again that I really hope this item becomes permanent.  Caroline Hirons is a skincare genius and I just love the ease of use of this double cleansing system.  I find it easy to keep each side seperate and my face has never been cleaner.  You can purchase Pixi Beauty items on their website or boutiques and also at Target.   Learn more about the brand by following their blog and across social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and youtube.

Now I'd like to ask if you Double Cleanse.  Which is your favorite item of the Pixi Pretties collaborations?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Miss Spa Bee Venom Plumping Mask Review

You may have heard a lot about sheet masks lately. having been introduced to western markets from eastern skincare cultures.  The sheets, which are soaking in an essence or treatment, are laid on the skin for about 20 minutes after opening the package.  Upon removal, the remaining treatment is patted into the skin.  I had been looking at the influx of sheet masks in Ulta a lot recently, but I was never sure which I wanted to try first.  I was sent the Miss Spa Bee Venom Plumping Mask, ($7.99), for consideration and my decision was made so much easier!  Why not start here?

It's important to note that there is bee venom and royal jelly used in this mask, so please, DO NOT USE IF ALLERGIC TO BEES.

According to Miss Spa, a woman owned compamy, the royal jelly and bee venom work together to help improve texture and firmness while aloe and honey sooth and mositurize the skin.   It's supposed to make your skin look smoother and firmer, and I found it accomplishes that.

You can find the ingredient list HERE.  The mask itself is made of nice silk proteins.

Now for my experience:  The mask is in a nice white foil packet inside the outer cover.  It makes a beautiful spa presentation.

Even tho it was sitting at room temperature, it was freaking cold when I opened the package!!  A friend told me to warm up the package in warm water the next time I used something like this.  It had an unusual tingle that I found really intriguing and not uncomfortable at all to my not-so-sensitive skin.   It has a faint aloe scent and I liked how my skin felt afterward.

But I had one problem.  I read the instructions so I knew to remove the sheet from the outer paper and carefully set it on my skin, pushing it so that it would follow my facial contours.

The first one that I used kept falling off my skin.  It wouldn't adhere like a second skin to my face at all, and I thought it should, according to what I'd read about sheet masks.  When I took pictures and posted on Snapchat, I figured out what the problem was.  I think.   Looking at the picture, I saw that there was a white paper sticking out at the sides under the green.

As I removed it, I realized that I had two sheets of thickness on my face.  I was slightly, ok really, confused.  It seems this has a backing paper that was easy to figure out, as well as the mask paper, and a top paper.  In the picture below, you can see the green pliable sheet and the harder, more obvious throw away sheet.

So I figured I messed up, headed to Ulta and bought another to try again, even though I liked the results of the serum, I wanted to do it correctly.

My second time, I used the white sheet as the mask and I figured since the green paper had a lot of serum on it, why not give my chest a little help, too.

I confess to confusion over why there are more than one sheet of paper in the package.  For a sheet mask newbie like me, it causes doubt about one's sheet mask abilities.  I still don't know if I did it right, but the serum was infused anyway.  I do like how the mask felt and I'd like to use this more often.  It's one of the more expensive sheet masks at Ulta, but you can feel it working.

I really liked it and I plan to buy it again.  There are all kinds of Miss Spa skincare products at Ulta, and you can research them on the Miss Spa website.  You can also follow them on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Since I'm a sheet mask newbie, I'm wondering if you've experienced a sheet mask with multiple papers like this.  Did I do it right?  What are you're favorite sheet masks?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

10 Must Have Essentials For Your Perfect Sun Safe Glow

It's here!!!  Summer!!!  Remember the excited anticipation we had when they opened the school doors and let us out for the summer?  Dreams of bike rides, swimming at the lake or the pool, playing games outside and spending time with friends filled our imaginations as we left school on that final day of  the year.  Not much has changed, has it?  Summer is still an exciting time to enjoy friends and family and all that the sunny outdoor world has to offer.  Proper sun and skincare is vital to your enjoyment of the months outdoors but please don't forget that we need proper sun protection all year long.   Even if you've never protected your skin, you can start right now with my 10 essentials for year 'round fun in the sun skin safety.  Why ruin a good BBQ with the pain of sunburn, risking permanent skin damage and premature aging?  Let's see what's in my beach bag for playing safe this summer.

1.   Protect Delicate Scars With ScarScreen By Dermaflage  -  This is the very first skin or makeup application that I do each morning.  The link is to my previous blog post telling you all about ScarScreen SPF30.  This is my number one MUST HAVE sun protection item.  Nothing is as vulnerable to the outside world as delicate scarred skin, whether it is from acne or injury.  You need to take care to protect it and ScarScreen is an absolute must, being specially formulated for delicate scars.  I put it on dark spots, too, because it works so well to keep the harmful rays blocked from my skin.
        makeup primer
      2.   A Makeup Primer With Sunscreen - After I apply ScarScreen, when I am going to wear makeup, I use Sente Daily Repair Complex.  This has SPF30, protecting from both UVA and UVB rays.  It glides effortlessly over the skin and the ingredients help to give a smoother skin appearance, decreasing the appearance of aging skin, lines and wrinkles.  It has the faintest flesh tint which isn't noticible once the product is on but helps it to blend seemlessly into the skin.  If you look at the ingredient list, you'll see it has dimethicone, which gives it the glide and smooth appearance.  This is a GREAT option to wear to a beach or pool party when you'll be outside and want to look a little more polished than naked skin, but without pounds of makeup.  I'm going to cover this brand more at length later and will link back when it's live.  It's really an outstanding product.  Sente is available for purchase on their website and you can check to see what doctors in your area might sell it.

      La Roche-Posay, which is available at drugstores, has an SPF 50 UVA/UVB Tone Correcting Primer.  It also has a tint which helps cover up flaws and diminish the look of aging while wearing it.  The tint is a little more opaque than the Sente, and is recommended for light to medium skintones.  It's another primer that you can wear under makeup or without as it creates a blurred soft focus effect on the skin.

      3.  A Natural Vegan Facial Sunscreen Alternative -  Nature's Gate has a broad spectrum face sunscreen with an SPF of 25.  You can purchase it at Whole Foods and many locations which carry natural products.  This is a great option for the days you wouldn't want to wear a sunscreen primer, or for use on the kid's faces.  Everyone needs SPF!!!  Nature's Gate sunscreens are infused with botanicals and are responsibly formulated with effective ingredients for skin protection.  And, it is cruelty free as well as free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates and oxybenzone.  It is light weight, rapidly absorbed and I've worn it under makeup with no problem.

      4.  Sunscreen for the Body, (and Face)  -  Australian Gold is a good sunscreen brand to try.  It is easy found at most mass merchants and has all the choices of SPF available.  You can choose from oil, lotion and sprays as well.  Australian Gold is a gluten free, paraben free, PABA free, dye free and alcohol free brand.  It moisturizes with olive fruit oil, sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter and also has aloe vera to soothe and condition skin.  It smells kind of fruity, which I really like.  I tend to choose sunscreens that smell tropical, but I'm loving the scent of this one...I can't really explain just smells fresh and good.

      5.  A Tropical Smelling All Over Sunscreen - I did just tell you that I generally will pick up a sunscreen that smells tropical like Sun Bum.  One whiff and I'm in Hawaii at the beach.  Sun Bum offers UVA and UVB protection.  It is gluten free, paraben free, PABA free, oil free, 100% vegan, and hypoallergenic.  It is enriched with Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals.  The Browning Lotion that you see at the right of the picture above isn't a sunscreen, but a browning accelerator that is applied over sunscreen.  Sun Bum products come in lotions, sprays and sticks and are available at mass merchants.

      6.  Chopsaver Lip Sunscreen - ChopSaver was formulated by a musician to keep those chapped lips at bay.  It is a citrus flavor and has arnica oil, a great healing agent.  It has SPF15.  When I was a kid, my lips would get burned in the summer when I was out playing softball.  They've been really vulnerable since and I have to have a good SPF on them.  Don't forget yours and your little one's lips, ears and noses....all areas that have thinner skin and are so vulnerable to the sun's rays.  You can find this at CVS.

      7.  Nature's Gate Glow Lotion - I was never a self-tan fan until I tried this product.  This is what you need when you protect your skin but you also want to have a tan or a glow.  The Glow Lotion lightly tans skin and is buildable with multiple layers.  It is cruelty free and made in the USA.  Nature's Gate is sold at Whole Foods and other locations where natural products are carried.

      In the past, when I've tried other self tanners, my skin felt wierd.  It was like having a mask on it.  I could feel it and I didn't like the feeling.  Or the smell.  Or the patchy way they wore off.  It looked nasty and left me wishing I'd never applied it.  I didn't have high hopes when I used this the first time.  I have to tell you, I just couldn't believe it.  It didn't feel like my skin was coated with anything.  I got it on without streaking and it provided enough color so that I didn't look awkward in Phoenix in my summer clothes.  I hesitated to go from pants to shorts because my legs were just didn't look like I lived here.  One light application gave me the confidence I needed.  And there wasn't any patchy peeling.  I wasn't going for a really dark look, so I can't comment on that, I was just going for enough confidence to leave my jeans in the closet and wear my shorts.  I'm completely sold on this product.  I use it about once a week.  Sometimes more.  Totally love itl.

      8.  Sun Bum Browning Lotion -   The picture is up above and if you've read this far, you read a little bit about it.  It has coffee in it, as well as a few nice oils.  I suspect the coffee kind of stains the skin, because when you put it on over your sunscreen, it looks brown.  I know people who swear by this, so I'm including it in the list for you if you want a browner look to your protected sunkissed skin.

      9.  Face and Body Highlighters - One of the best ways to look more glowy is with highlighter.  Shine up those spots where the sun hits and don't forget your collarbones and shoulders.  Highlighting is still a very strong trend and can totally accentuate your features.  It is your friend.  The three I use the most are the Becca x Jaclyn Hill palette, the Kardashian Beauty Incandescent Lightbox in Aurora. and the Charlotte Tilbury Bar Of Gold, (pictured above).   Run a brush down your forearm for added glow.

      10.  Sunglasses!!  Don't forget your sunglasses, and I don't mean Snapchat filters like this but real sunglasses!!!  Eyes are so delicate and can get severe sun damage.  Kids need sunglasses, too.  Especially when the sun is reflecting off water, sand or snow.

      Be sun safe this summer.  Remember that most of these items will be needed in winter, too, except for the Sun Bum Browning Lotion.  Being sun safe is a year 'round committment.  In the US alone, 1 out of 5 people will get sun cancer.  If that's not enough to scare the sunscreen onto you, I don't know what is.  We had a neighbor that died of skin cancer and I really don't want that to happen to any of you.

      What are some of your favorite sun care products?  

      Friday, June 17, 2016

      Silkriller Harnesses Silk Into Skin Care To Feed All Skin Types - Review

      Before I received the Silkriller skin care products to test, I had never heard of the company and I'd never heard of silk being used in skincare.  Historically, in southeast Asia, silk has been used to fight bacteria, infectious skin diseases and even to reduce dark spots.  Each Silkriller product contains silk fibrion extracted from 100% Japanese silk.  From the Silkriller website: "Silk fibroin is the nutrient rich protein enclosed within the silk fiber and contains 18 different types of amino acids that are essential for healthy skin".

      The Silkriller products are probably the prettiest skin care I've ever used.  The metallic pink of the boxes is one of my favorite colors but what's so cool is the flash of pink that you see when you move the white containers around.  I'm keeping the ball shaped moisturizer jar with my special cosmetic favorites once it's empty, cuz it's just so cute!

      The first item in the protocol that I use is the Facial Foam.

      The Facial Foam is said to cleanse contaminants, dead skin cells and impurities from pores and deeper skin layers.  It is a clear type of fluid that cleanses oily residue while hydrating the skin.  It's supposed to foam, as indicated by the product name, but where I live, we have hard water with a lot of minerals and I didn't have success foaming up my cleanser.  I like it anyway but I was confused by the name at first.


      The second step for me is Silkriller Lotion.  It is a water based silk fibrion solution that rapidly absorbs into the skin.  It contains various amino acids that help reduce inflammation and pigmentation and assits in cell growth and acne scar healing.   You can see below that this is authentic Japanese skin care.  Everything on the packaging is in Japanese!

      The Lotion was somewhat surprising to me at first.

      It looks like any clear toner, but you don't use it with a cotton pad and wipe debris away.  It is to be patted into the skin and absorbed to retain all the wonderfully healing properties of the silk fibrion and other elements.  So don't wipe it off your skin!  It contains: WATER, FIBROIN, HINOKITIOL, SODIUM HYALURONATE, DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE, METHYLPARABEN

      Next for me was applying the 3D Silver Pure Rich Gel, an anti-aging solution containing fibrion, amino acids and other beauty essences.  This product is designed to repair hidden skin damage, improve cell growth and remove skin wrinkles.  It is a lightweight opaque fluid that will look, on the surface, like other serums you might have used.


      The Moisturizing Cream is in a cute ball container, white that flashes pink, and has a little scoop type of spatula inside so that you don't have to put any fingers into it.  I LOVE that.  I really really REALLY don't like dipping a finger into a jar, possibly spreading contaminants and wasting a bunch of product under my fingernail.

      The moisturizer will absorb into the skin within 10 seconds, (just like the other products), and I really appreciate that.  In the morning before makeup, you're not waiting a long time for your skincare routine to absorb.  I have a photo to illustrate the size of the jar.

      From the website:  "By using collagen building proteins found in silk, our moisturizer increases skin cell regeneration with every drop by hydrating and nourishing the skin, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Every use will make your skin younger, brighter, and healthier."  It is composed of the following ingredients: WATER, SILK FIBROIN, SQUALANE, DOCOSANOL, COCONUT OIL, PROPANEDIOL, AVOCADO OIL, RICE BRAN OIL, ALOE VERA LEAF, HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, SHEANUT OIL, HYALURONATE SODIUM, GLYCYRRHIZINATE DIPOTASSIUM, COCOA BUTTER, XANTHAN GUM, CARRAGEENAN, SUCROSE, TOCOPHEROL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN

      I also wanted to show you the containers open so that you have an idea of what you'll receive.

      With the first use, I found these products to be unique and innovative in formula and results.  I was impressed by how quickly they melded into my skin.  No longer was I afraid to lay on my pillow for fear of getting moisturizer all over it.  That was the first element I noticed and appreciated about this skincare system.

      My skin did, indeed, become bright and smoother.  I have some scarring that started healing!!  I was wondering if it would ever heal and not only have they, but they are fading as well.  It's my experience that this skincare lives up to it's promises.  From the very first use, my skin felt like silk!

      I was testing an eye cream from a different line while using this and what I can tell you about it is that I wish I would have included the eye area in my Silkriller routine.  I think I would have seen wonderful results.  I've tested a lot of different kinds of skincare and I have been really impressed by Silkriller.  I will continue to use these products in between periods of other product testing, which my blog requires.

      Silkriller does not contain any added surfectant nor any perfumes or fragrance.  The products are composed of natural beauty essences and silk fibrion proteins.  The products can be purchased individually or in various full sized set groupings.  My set will last three months of typical use and retails for $308.  This is far less than I've been paying in other brands for the 4 types of products included and I've had good results.

      There is so much to learn about the benefits and process of securing silk fibrion on the Silkriller website, including the history of the company.  You can follow Silkriller on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Silkriller is FDA approved, US Patented and Made in Japan.  Silkriller is approved for all skin types.

      Have you tried silk for your face?  Or any other Japanese skin care?  What have your results been? 

      Tuesday, March 29, 2016

      Want Lips Dreams Are Made Of? Try Michael Todd Beauty Intensive Lip Cream On Your Pout

      Who doesn't want the poutiest pout on their kisser?  It's what's in for lip shape!  Most people aren't able to choose injectibles to plump up our pout so we need to turn to good treatments that work without sacrificing comfort.  Michael Todd Beauty's Intensive Lip Cream, ($15 ml/$48), is a lip treatment I've been using for a couple of months to test if it safely and effectively brings me a softer fuller date night look.  This lip cream is a cruelty-free vegan product.

      See the slanted applicator tip on the pretty purple squeeze tube?  It applies the cream directly to your lip area feeling cool and smooth the whole time.  It's a great tip for the application of the cream.  And all you need is the tiniest bit!!  In the next picture, the dot on my finger is easily twice as much as what you need per application.

       There is a cooling minty sensation when you apply the cream to your lips.  It's not the painful or annoying type of tingle, but just a cool mintyness you're bound to enjoy.  The product can be applied on the lips as well as the skin above and below and rubbed lightly in.  It absorbs quickly without any greasiness and leaves the lips looking soft and supple with a healthy glow.  It's not shiny, it's just a natural satin type of skin glow.

      It has really helped to keep my lips soft, supple and has even helped promote fullness.  I notice a difference especially when I have lip color on.  I wish I had before and after pictures to show you, but  I had a hard time becoming regular in my use at first, applying in the morning and at night.   Things like lip balm weren't something I'd use a lot, so I wasn't in the habit of really taking care to keep my lips soft.  Growing up in the harsh climate of Alaska, I just got used to have dry lips now and then and would exfoliate when necessary.  There's just no reason not to treat your lips well when there are products like this on the market.

      The Intensive Lip Cream really needs to come with a dislaimer:  Warning!!  You will become a babe magnet with regular use!!   Not even joking, I can look like I wrestled a cat all night, with my hair all crazy and bloodshot allergy eyes and if I go apply my Intensive Lip Cream, my husband says "you look really pretty" every single time.  There's something to this lip cream!!!!

      I want you to see some items of interest about the ingredients from the Michael Todd website:

      This anti-aging formula combines skin plumping, firming and smoothing actives in a soothing natural base to treat the visible signs of aging on and around the lip area while protecting from UV induced damaging enzymes.
      Benefits & Key Ingredients 
      Soluble Collagen 
      • Naturally occurring protein in the skin that is responsible for skin’s elasticity and firmness 
      • Infused collagen plumps and smooths the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles from the inside out 

      Hyaluronic Acid 
      • Naturally occurring hydrating water binding molecule 
      • Attracts water to the skin’s surface to plump and smooth fine lines and wrinkles from the from the inside out while delivering nourishing hydration to the skin’s outer layers 

      Actimp™ (Peptide blend extracted from Parisian sustainably farmed Sweet white Lupine Flower) 
      • Sweet white Lupine was first recognized 2,400 years ago by Hippocrates for its’ nutritional and medicinal value 
      • Present day, extracted peptides from the Lupine flower are clinically validated to strengthen the dermal-epidermal junction restoring elasticity & firmness while healing & repairing through an increase in collagen & elastin production and a decrease in damaging enzymes 
      • Clinically validated to increase collagen production by 95% after 10 days 
      • Protects and preserves the skin’s firmness and elasticity by halting the production of destructive enzymes produced by the skin due to UV exposure by 93% in 10 days 

      Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice 
      • Nature’s first aid kit is known for its’ soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory properties 

      You should go look at the website for a great before and after picture!

      The following is a list of ingredients for this vegan product:
      Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Olea Europaea (Organic Olive) Fruit Oil, Organic Extracts of Lavandula x Intermedia (Organic Lavender) Flower, Aspalathus Linearis (Organic Rooibos) Leaf, Calendula Officinalis (Organic Calendula) Flower,Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae (Organic Blue Green Algae), Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Seed, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Glycerin (and) Butylene Glycol (and) Aqua [water] (and) Carbomer (and) Polysorbate-20 (and) Palmitoyl Oligopeptide (and) Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 [Matrixyl 3000®],), Hydrolized Lupine Protein (Actimp®), Stearic Acid, Ubiquinone (CoQ10) , Tocopheryl Acetate Tocopherol, C12-15 AlkylBenzoate, Flavor, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Collagen, Oenothera Biennis (Organic Evening Primrose) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Glycerin (and) Water [Aqua] (and) Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin (and) PalmitoylTripeptide-38 [Matrixyl® Synthe6], Acetyl hexapeptide-3 [Argireline®], Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Oil, Xanthan Gum.

      Please visit the website to learn more about Micheal Todd Beauty.   You can purchase the Intensive Lip Cream on their website.  Have fun following them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.  I've mentioned how much I love the Charcoal Detox Cleanser all over my social media channels as well as on my blog in this review.  It's an outstanding skin purifier, clarifier and cleanser.  You need it in your life.  Search my Instagram and Twitter for my massive raves. The Charcoal Detox Cleanser was my 2015 Product Of The Year.  Cuz it's great!!!

      Have you tried anything from Michael Todd Beauty?  I have my eye on the Eraser, a device that helps infuse serums.  The website tells me this helps the product to absorb and work better and they haven't steered me wrong yet.    I'm thankful to have been exposed to this company.  Any items you see that are peeking your interest?

      Monday, February 29, 2016

      Get Your Charcoal Off The BBQ And Onto Your Face With Derma E Purifying Charcoal Mask

      Over the past year, the exquisite use of charcoal as a skincare ingredient has graced my facial consciousness and made me a believer. I used to think charcoal was just those little black squares that you throw in a grill and douse with lighting fluid. I've come to realize its far superior use as a skin purifying treatment with products like Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask, (1.7 oz/$19.50).

      I'm going to give you the description from the Derma E website first:

      Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask deeply detoxifies skin of harmful micropollutants in two ways: (1) Natural clays infused with Kimarine® Wakame, Bladerwrack and Activated Charcoal lift out dirt, oil and bacteria to decongest pores as the mask dries; (2) Apricot Seed Powder exfoliates away dead skin cells and captured debris upon removal. Kaolin and Bentonite Clays absorb excess oils and impurities, relieving skin congestion. Kimarine® Wakame is a potassium-rich, magnesium-rich seaweed that is clinically proven to protect skin against environmental pollutants (exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, heavy metals). Bladderwrack is an antioxidant-rich, mineral-rich seaweed known for its water-binding properties, supporting healthy skin hydration and nourishment. Activated Charcoal, known for absorbing 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities, purges pores of deeply rooted toxins, then Apricot Seed Powder gently exfoliates away micropollutants. Ideal for oily, active or urban skin types, even safe for reactive skin (minimal ingredients and allergy-tested), used this formula once or twice a week for skin that looks dramatically fresher, healthier and purely glowing. 

      This product is a facial mask with a dual purpose.  The use of charcoal lifts out the gunk and goo that tends to build in your pores and the clays absorb other oily gunks.  When the mask is gently exfoliated away, it takes nasty impurities and bacteria with it.  I've found charcoal to be an ingredient that pulls every nasty thing beneath my skin's surface out, cleanses and clarifies the pores, and dries up the oily residue.  It's perfect for acneic skin as well as my dry skin.

      My skin never feels cleaner than when I use a charcoal cleanser or mask.  I love it.  I love this mask.  First I apply it, concentrating mainly on the cheeks and T-zone because that's where I see my pores starting to enlarge now.

      I can, and should, put this all over the face but I concentrate so much on the area you see above that I forget to get to the outer of my face by my hair.  You can see it begins drying immediately.  You don't have to wait long.  The suggested time to leave it on is five minutes.

      In just about a minute, I look like an extra on The Walking Dead.

      The ingredients are, (from the website):

      Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Kaolin, Bentonite, Glycerin, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Seed Powder, Fucus Vesiculosus (Bladderwrack) Extract, Undaria Pinnatifida (Wakame, Kimarine®) Extract, Charcoal Powder, Epilobium Angustifolium (Canadian Willowherb™) Extract, Panthenol (Provitamin B5), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract* (.1%), Menthyl Lactate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

      Once it is dry, I take my hands, or a washcloth, get it wet and rinse the excess off while rubbing lightly here or there, wherever I feel needs it and my face comes out squeeky clean.  My yuck spots are clean and closed up, and I don't have any excess oil.  My skin never feels softer than when I use a charcoal treatment.

      Derma E is a fragrance-free line, allergy tested, formulated by doctors and clinically tested for efficacy.  There is a whole brand new Derma E line called Purifying and you should be able to find them locally at Target , Ulta and Whole Foods.  You can find the brand online at Derma E's website,, TargetAmazon, and Ulta.

      If you want to remove deeply rooted toxins fom your skin, exfoliate, oxygenate and promote healing, I would highly recommend this product for cleaner glowing skin.  I love charcoal in my skin care!!!  It's one of my favorite ingredients because it is SO good for skin and I notice a huge difference in the health of my skin when I use it.  You can learn more about the company on their website.  Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTubePinterest, and Instagram.  You may follow their latest skincare tips and information on their blog.

      Have you tried skincare products with charcoal?  What is your experience with it?  What is your favorite Derma E product?

      Tuesday, December 1, 2015

      Block Island Organics Cruelty Free Vegan Formula Night Cream - Review Plus A Savings Coupon!

      Today I want to share with you a moisturizer I've been using from Block Island Organics, a cruelty free organic company that includes all of the good and none of the bad in their night cream.  The team behind Block Island Organics wish to keep you informed about being safe outside from the sun's harsh rays all year 'round.  On their website is the best explanation of sun protection that I've ever read.  It explains the difference between typical sunscreen ingredients and what mineral sunblock is.  I'd highly recommend the read.  There is also a Q & A section about how UV rays work, which you'll find really interesting.  I really encourage you to read these sections and you'll feel the passion the company has to protect our skin.

      So about the Revitalizing Night Cream, (2 fl oz./$29.99).

      It comes in a nice white pump top bottle.  it has great skincare ingredients like the antioxidents vitamins C and E as well as organic ingredients like cocoa butter, rosehip, avocado, aloe vera, jojoba and more.  There are none of the things that are bad for us, such as parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalated dyes or artificial frangrance.  The cream has a barely detectible fresh scent, and I mean you have to smell it with passion to smell anything.  You can find a full list of ingredients on the website here.

      It is recommended to use the night cream...well, at night.  It is fairly lightweight for a night cream and while it nourishes and moisturizes, it is non-greasy and absorbs quickly.  You can also use it during the day, which I do.  My skin is really dry.  I wait a little longer than usual to apply my primer and foundation, but it goes on easily and there is no conflict with the products using this as a day cream.

      In the picture above, you can see the more hydrated area on my hand to the right of the cream blob where I rubbed some in...mainly because I was a spaz and forgot I was taking a photo and just thinking how dry my hands were.  I like to use facial moisturizers on my hands because hand cream doesn't usually have any sunblock to it.  At any rate, you can see that the right side of my hand isn't greasy or anything.  I wish I could show you how well it absorbs, but you'll just have to try it for yourself.

      The story behind Block Island Organics is pretty cool.  It's a majority female owned family company that started on Block Island, Rhode Island.  It is their belief, as it is mine, that good skin care involves good suncare night and day because the sun is the leading cause of premature skin aging and damage.  They believe skincare doesn't need to be complicated, overly expensive or chemically manufactored.  They feel a passion to educate consumers while providing quality products and simplifying the skin care process.

      I've been using this about six weeks.  I did something stupid and burnt my skin about 2 weeks ago with a product and had a cut by my eye, so I couldn't use anything, and boy did my skin miss this cream!!!!  I mean like it was screaming for moisture.  I was so thankful to begin using this again!! This is a night cream that I believe you will love the feel of as well as it's moisturizing and sunblock effects.

      You can learn more about Block Island Organics on their website and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.   I think you'll really like this night cream and the company has provided my readers a discount when purchased from Wednesday, December 2 though Tuesday, December 8.  The 20% off coupon is "shelley" and isn't combinable with other codes.  That's right, twenty percent.    Be sure to check out all the suncare information.  You'll learn a lot!!

      Tuesday, November 3, 2015

      Michael Todd Soniclear Elite Deluxe on EVINE Live!

      One of my greatest simple joys in life has become washing my face at the end of the day using my Michael Todd Soniclear Elite along with their Charcoal Detox Cleanser.  You can read my testimony here.   The Soniclear can be used in the morning as well, providing a refreshing boost to start the day.  This device is clinically validated to be up to 6 times more effective than cleansing by hand.   I really recommend tuning into Evine Live to see it in action today!!  This set is an incredible deal and would make a great gift for anyone on your list, even yourself.  Read on for more details.


      Michael Todd is premiering their Soniclear Elite Deluxe on EVINE Live and featuring a special Michael Todd Today’s Top Value – EVINE Live’s best value of the day!

      If you aren’t familiar with the Soniclear Elite, it will refresh and revive the look of tired skin with its sonic-powered, antimicrobial brush heads. The complete body, pedi and face system with an optional C-Boost™ Technology mode, make this "youth machine" the go-to cleansing and exfoliating tool for all skin types. Especially suited for aging skin to slough off dead dulling skin cells while deep cleaning the pores of dirty and makeup for a refreshed appearance and a more radiant complexion.

      Great for gifting, Soniclear Elite Deluxe will be offered in eight different colors! The Deluxe set can be yours for less than $129 plus S&H and will include:

      • Soniclear Elite Sonic Powered Skin Cleansing System with C-Boost™ Technology, Charging Stand and Power Adapter
      • Antimicrobial Face Brush Head
      • Antimicrobial Body Brush Head
      • Pedi Treatment Head
      • Shower Extension Arm
      • Hard Shell Travel Case
      • Shower Caddy

      This special price is good for a limited time through 9:59pm ET 11/4/15.

      Michael Todd is premiering their Soniclear Elite Deluxe on EVINE Live and on 11/3 at 10pm and 11pm ET and 11/4 at 4am, 5am, 6am, 10am, 2pm and 7pm ET.

      Tune in to watch the show live on or find EVINE Live on your local station. You can also buy it now or shop all Michael Todd products on EVINE Live.

      Friday, September 25, 2015

      Have Soft Supple Skin With Reviva Labs 10% Glycolic Acid Cream

      Let's take a moment to talk about skin...facial skin. I've found that as time passes, for some reason my skin gets bumpier. There can be a roughness to it if I slack off on my skincare. And lines...yeah, those too. One of the best things to do for lines, wrinkles and bumpiness is to introduce an exfoliator into your skincare process. I was fortunate to receive a sample of Reviva Labs 10% Glycolic Acid Cream, (1.5 oz / $29) and it was true love at first use. You can read more about this Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free company here and here.

      cruelty free, skincare, mature skin, exfoliation

      Glycolic Acid is an AHA derived from sugar cane.  It is used to exfoliate the top layer of skin and promote cellular renewal.  The molecules are very small and penetrate the surface of the skin.  The allow the outer layer of dead skin to exfoliate off the top, revealing softer smoother skin.  Glycolic Acid is used to treat wrinkles, dark spots, uneven skintone, bumpiness and improve skin's tone, texture and look.  Those darned skin curses that pop up around 35 or 40 can be improved with regular use of an AHA in your skin care routine.

      Here are the ingredients, all natural and cruelty free:  Purified water, 101% glycolic acid polymer (extracts of sugar and rhubarb), extracts of pumpkin, peach, sage, cornfrey, chamomile, witch hazel, vitamins A, D, E, safflower oil and sunflower oil.

      The 10% Glycolic Acid Cream is white and absorbs easily.

      cruelty free, natural, skin care

      It should be used at most every other night before bed.  I use it a couple of times a week.  Sensitive skin types should begin with the 5% Glycolic Acid Cream and adjust to that first.  If you have some irritation the next morning, be sure to apply moisturizer over it the next time you use it.   Don't use your AHA's the same night that you do a manual exfoliation, such as with a brush or beaded exfoliator.  Both manual and chemical rejuvenation are important and I use both, but not on the same night.

      I really like this.  The first time I used it, I was amazed by how SMOOTH my skin was in the morning.  I've never had irritation from it but I also don't have sensitive skin.  It improves my skin texture.   There's just nothing like having a face as smooth as a baby's bottom.  Like the back side of a baby, you'll have fresh skin exposed to be sure to protect it with an SPF.  Again, the cream contains all natural cruelty-free ingredients.  The 10% Glycolic Acid Cream is something that I simply NEED to have in my skincare routine so that I don't look really old and dry.  :)  And rough.

      If you haven't tried Reviva Labs yet, you should.  I have reviewed several of their products and they have never disappointed me.  You can purchase on their website or at Ulta Beauty.  Be sure to browse the Reviva Labs website as their range of products is greater than what Ulta carries.

      Do you do regular exfoliation for skin turnover and renewal?  What's your routine?

      Tuesday, September 22, 2015

      Michael Todd Soniclear Elite Cleansing Antimicrobial Face And Body Cleansing Brush

      Today I want to tell you about the Michael Todd Soniclear Elite cleansing system, a new and innovative electronic brush with microbacterial product protection and patent pending C-boost technology, ($149).  That's a mouthful to say, isn't it?  But it's important because those details are what set the Soniclear Elite brush apart from any others you've experienced to date.

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review

      The Soniclear Elite is a sonic cleansing device with six modes and two brushes; a body brush and a facial brush.  The Elite has a built-in antimicrobial system which cleanses the brush and keeps it from staining, a really important element to help keep your skin clear.  If your brush has bacteria, it will definitely affect your skin negatively.   Michael Todd has created the first self-cleaning sonic cleansing brush.  Your brush heads stay cleaner long, i.e. most brushes will tell you to replace the brush head in 3 months.  With this self-cleaning system, the suggested replacement period is six months!!  Saving you money!!

      Soniclear operates a little differently than most brushes you may have experienced.  The brush heads don't turn in a circle but use sonic technology to vibrate the bristles with over 18,000 massaging movements per minute, in a variety of speeds.  You choose whether low, medium or high is your desired speed with just a push of a button.

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review

      The Soniclear Elite is lighter weight than a lot of brushes and fits easily in my hand.  It has two rubberized grips on the side for easier holding when your hands are wet or soapy.  You can see on the neck that it has three buttons.  The bottom button turns the device on and off.  The middle button is for speed control and the top button is for the C-Boost technology.  One can easily hit the button and change speeds or add a C-Boost while the product is in use.  There are two little lights above the controls that tell you if you're using the device on cleansing mode or C-Boost.

      C-Boost technology is a first to the skincare brush industry.  When you push the C-Boost button, you get a special cycle that massages to stimulate circulation and stimulates collagen and elastin production.  With the increased circulation, toxins are flushed out from the skin's surface.  Increasing collagen and elastin will plump up the skin and improve texture, two things you definitely want to combat aging skin!

      Clinical studies have shown, (from the Michael Todd website):
      • Clinically validated to improve the appearance of fine lines by 84% in 8 weeks
      • Clinically validated to improve skin firmness by 70% in 8 weeks
      • Clinically validated to improve skin texture by 91% in 8 weeks

      In the picture above, the facial brush is on the device handle and the body brush is to the side. The area of the facial brush is about half that of the body brush.  Both are good sizes for their intended use.  The Soniclear Elite is waterproof so don't hesitate to take it in the shower and give your skin a good massage.

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review, charcoal detox

      The brushes are easily changed.  Just twist the brush head and pull it off.  Then twist to tighten the new brush head on.

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review, charcoal detox

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review, charcoal detox

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review, charcoal detox

      The brush has six speeds; three for the face and three for the body.  The Elite actually knows the difference between the brushes and which set of speeds to use.  It has an automatic skin cleaning cycle and turns off once it's done.  If you require more time, as I do, just hit the on switch for another round.

      When you first receive the Soniclear Elite, be sure to charge it for a full 24 hours before use.  The lights on the back will tell you when it's charged.

      antimicrobial, C-Boost, skincare, body care, review, charcoal detox

      The first self-cleaning antimicrobial brush of it's kind, you can find the Michael Todd Soniclear Elite, ($149.),on their website and at Ulta.  It is available in a variety of colors and comes with a 5 year warranty.

      I have seen an improvement in skin texture since I've been using this, as well as better looking pores, especially when I use it with the Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser, ($23/200 ml).  I received the cleanser before the Soniclear Elite so I've been using it a few months.  It unclogs my pores like nobody's business and the Soniclear Elite wisks all the badies away.

      I've never looked forward to washing my face until I received these products, but I'm not kidding you when I tell you washing my face is one of the delights of my day.  I believe my skin is definitely improving.  Charcoal is a great ingredient in skincare which purifies pores and draws all the ick out.  I had a lot of trouble with makeup left in my pores after cleansing before I started using the Charcoal Detox along with the rechargeable Soniclear Elite.

      Be sure to take a look at The Soniclear Elite while at Ulta and read about it and the Charcoal Detox Cleanser on their website.  You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

      Have you been introduced to Michael Todd yet?  What do you use to wash your face?