Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Boy, A Girl, And A Life With Cystic Fibrosis

This post was sponsored by Walgreens Cystic Fibrosis Services as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my post.

It was a beautiful summer night.  Two weeks before, I had just began to date a young police officer that I had been introduced to at a local restaurant where I was working for the summer.  We both worked night shifts and usually met up after work to play tennis, basketball or soccer as we were getting to know each other.  I'm sure you've heard about the nearly 24 hours of daylight in an Alaskan summer.  It helps young people to have no good sense about being loud outside in the middle of the night.  My belated apologies to the neighbors!!

This night felt different.  As my cousin was dropping me off to his house after work, I told her that I knew I was in love with him, and that I might tell him.  She said it wasn't possible, that it had only been two weeks and I should wait to say anything.  But this was different and I knew it.  I knew that I was in hook, line and sinker and there was no turning back.  I was young and I was in love!  Surely there's a song about that, right?

 As we were talking, he said I have something to tell you.  Imagine my butterflies when I said "I have something to tell you, too".  It was so exciting!!!!

Until he said "I have a terminal illness and I thought I should tell you"  Umm, excuse me???  What?  My stomach felt like a horse had kicked me in the gut.  It physically hurt as I tried to understand what he was telling me.  It was such a shock that I couldn't process it.  I asked what he meant.  And he said "I have Cystic Fibrosis."

It was the first time I'd heard those words and I didn't know what they meant.  Many times, the diagnosis of CF is the first time a person and their family have heard of it.  Cystic Fibrosis is a complex disease which mainly focuses on the lungs and digestive system.  It is caused by gene mutations and is something that the patient has their entire life.  It must be managed every day.  With CF, there is no such thing as a common cold.  Such a simple virus to others can cause a very serious pneumonia or worse.  My boyfriend was just 26 when I met him and a few years before, he was told that he wouldn't live to see 30.

I had to make a choice.  Would I choose to live with CF in my life or would I choose to live without it.  I already told you that I was head over heels for him, so I took the path of living with Cystic Fibrosis.  I knew immediately that I wanted to spend any time he had with him rather than miss it all together.

Thanks to research and progress in medicines, he has already doubled the life sentance he was given as a young adult.  He was told that CF was a terminal childhood illness and through the years of our marriage, we have seen incredible genetic discoveries and the great progression of medicines and therapies to treat the condition.

Here he is at 60.  How is he still not grey?

CF is still very serious and a strict adherence to the medications to treat various aspects of it is mandatory, and sometimes can be overwhelming.  We've had hospital stays, IV at home treatments, physical name it, he's gone through it.  I help him to remember to take the medications and I nag encourage him to do the therapies.  If you are a care giver to a CF patient, remember that the end result is worth any arguing they might do about doing any of their therapies.  I have a hard headed husband but I want him to stay alive so I help to get his medicines and therapies arranged.

He has a medication that he takes for 28 days and then takes a 28 day break and starts again.  Sometimes it has been difficult to remember when to start.  I'm extremely thankful for the Walgreens CF Champions, Navigating the Journey together program.    20 years ago, we had a difficult time obtaining his medicine.  It's called Tobramiacine or Tobi and we've been through insurance denials and inability to physically be able to purchase anywhere when we were in Alaska.

The Walgreens program is fantastic.  Every month at just the right time, they call to ask if we're ready for the next delivery of the medicine.  They tell us what day and what time it will arrive.  They are never late, always on time.  We know when to make sure we're home to sign for the delivery.  The medicine comes in a styrefoam cooler with cold packs ensuring it stays cold and dark until use.  It's very important that he has it on time and Walgreens pharmacy CF program makes it happen.  It helps relieve some of the stress of counting out the 28 days and being afraid I might miscount.

Even though he lives with Cystic Fibrosis, my husband is a determined man.  He wanted to be a police officer when he was young and he determined to do so even though he had recently been told his life would be short.  He was determined to survive when he was shot as a young officer.  He was determined to be a SWAT cop and solve difficult homicide cases.

My husband was determined to experience all the other areas of the department.   He was determined to make our department a better place.   He was determined to improve his abilities and rose to the rank of Deputy Chief over a department of about 500 people.  He was always known as a hard working, determined officer.  Here he is as a Captain of Patrol.

Even with CF, he has been determined to survive and take care of our family.  He worked almost 40 years as a cop and is now taking on the next task of retirement.  If you have CF, I want you to know that you can still make your dreams come true.  You can accomplish the things you want to, you just have to be determined.  Be determined to adhere to the modalities your doctor has prescribed and then just go for it.  If you are the parent of a child with CF, just know that my husband is proof that your child can do anything.  If you are the spouse of a CF patient, then high five, cuz you know my journey.

Last picture.....this is a picture of him being honored for the shooting when he was young and his determination to survive along side of a picture from the summer we met and started dating.  *butterflies*

That's my superhero.  A superhero living with Cystic Fibrosis.

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?

Friday, July 1, 2016

POPSUGAR #MustHaveBox for June 2016!

Today I want to show you the June edition of the POPSUGAR Must Have box.  This box has been curated based on a summer theme, backyard bbq's, weekends away, beach trips, togetherness and joy.  Each month, POPSUGAR creates a box of full sized fun with a theme for the month and includes great items of beauty, home, fashion, and food.  The box is $39.99 per month with a guaranteed value of no less than $100, and every item is full size!   There is also a Mini box containing full sized items at a price of $18.95 per month.  You can subscribe here.

The box for June 2016 is pretty danged awesome.   The first item I'm going to mention is the Hat Attack Printed Sarong, ($58),  It measures 6 ft x 3 ft and is wonderful to use as a beach wrap, a scarf, a throw for a picnic or over the shoulders...any number of things.  The background is off-white and the pattern colors are beige and black and it will go with anything.  It also made a nice photo backdrop!

Next up from the box, is the Sisters Of Los Angeles Cheers Bottle Opener, ($12).  This is a nice sized bottle opener that you can use anywhere without losing it.  It has a good weight and is cheery in it's salutation and bright shiny gold.  See how big it is?

This box is completely curated for fun.  Check out the Ridley's Game Room "Who Am I" Quiz Game.  ($13)  We love to play games like this in our house.  It's great for all age ranges.  Take it to the neighborhood bbq for tons of fun.  Just don't bet the house on who will win.  We're going to play this over the much fun!  There is an instruction sheet in the box, too.

NCLA, ($16), has created the Born on the 4th Nail Lacquer in conjunction with POPSUGAR for this box.  I think it's my first NCLA and it's full of glittery red and blue goodness.  Use it alone or as a nail topper and you're ready for fireworks!!  NCLA is a cruelty-free, 5 free, nail polish.

Also in this box is a dual sided mirror, (manifying side and regular), by Knock Knock, ($10), that is the perfect size to throw in your purse, beach bag or pocket without adding any needless weight.  It's cute.    Check it out!

Isn't that cute?!?

Something that I've been dying to try came in the box.  Pacifica Underarm Wipes, ($9), are an aluminum free vegan underarm wipe said to neutralize odor for hours.   They come in several scents.  I've been dying to try these but just hadn't gotten around to ordering them yet, so I was really excited to see these in the box.  Heck, I'm pretty excited over all of it!!

And now we come to this month's snack option.  These will be devoured by my sriracha loving family.  The Pressels, ($1.29),  have less fat and sodium than usual chips so that you can enjoy them guilt-free!

The last item I want to show you is also the first picture I postes.  Each box comes with an insert that gives you information about the items, their value, and where to purchase them.  This is really handy!!

Have we been eyeballing that sarong in each picture?  It's PERFECT.  Really, just so many uses...I love it!

Isn't this the best subscription box ever?  I'm thrilled with it.  It's a great value with items that you'll actually use for just $39.99.  A heck of a value and a very nice variety of items.  You can subscribe to either the large or mini boxes, each containing full sized items, at this link.  I think it's really worth it.

*POPSUGAR sent me this #MustHaveBox to sample.  All opinions expressed are my own honest evaluation*

Do you have plans for the weekend of the 4th, if you're in the USA?  I plan to play Who Am I with the fam and...I'm not sure what else, but I know we'll be game playing.  How about you?

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?  

      Monday, June 20, 2016

      How To Protect And Help Heal Scars With Dermaflage Scarscreen

      Over the past year, I've mentioned my struggle with extreme gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease and the related skin problems I have if I accidently ingest any gluten.  I get a blistering outbreak that creates sores on the face which leave discolorations or scars, and most of the time, both.  (You can read more about that here.)   This has been going on for almost four years, causing frustration and discoloration.  If that's not bad enough, two biopsies in the continuously worst area on my face was taken this spring, leaving two fresh new scars, each slightly larger than a pencil eraser.

       If you've ever had any acne or injury scars that have left marks on your face or elsewhere, then you're familiar with the scars burning or creating dark edges when exposed to the sun.  Scar skin is very fragile and particularly suspectible to harmful rays from the sun.  As a kid, I had some body scars that spread and discolored with sun exposure and they're still darkened and larger than they could have been with proper sun care. Last summer, I barely went outside, or to the pool, because even though I used a 70 SPF sunscreen stick on my marks, going in the sun made the spots open up and take much longer to heal.  It wasn't fun.

      Frustration was setting in this spring with some sores I got from a contamination at Thanksgiving, and the fresh scars from the biopsy.  The doctor told me to cover them with a band-aid but being located on a facial fold,  band-aids and even tape just wouldn't adhere to my skin.  The last thing I wanted was sun exposure on my delicate facial scars.  As soon as my scar area was stable in it's healing, I wanted to exercise in the pool and I began using Dermaflage Scarscreen on the biopsied area as well as the other outbreak scars.

      I'd heard of Dermaflage having an excellent concealer for scarred skin, although I've never used it or needed it pervious to this deforming condition.  Scarscreen was developed with physicians and scientists to protect that delicate skin.  It offers UVA and UVB protection with it's mineral ingredient zinc oxide providing an SPF of 30.  It is specially formulated to work with the Dermaflage Topical Filler, next on my purchase list.    Scarscreen is hypoallergenic, fragrance free, paraben free, and has no added chemical sunscreens.   It is ideal for use after cosmetic procedures, surgery and injuries.  It is clear in application, light, not greasy and easily wearable under makeup.

      For my skin, Scarscreen provides total protection from the sun.  (This is my experience.  Scarscreen is  rated SPF30.) When I was using other sunscreens, my little gluten affected areas would open up in the sun.  I don't want to be super gross but they would open and I thought they'd never heal!!  Scarscreen doesn't do that!  It is a total sunblock for me and has helped my sores to heal and close, and even the discolorations left by them are fading!

       I appreciate Scarscreen's ability to cover my skin while not leaving a greasy or heavy feel.  I was applying it with a finger tip and dabbing on my yucky areas, scars and discolorations until I saw that it works SO well that using an SPF 15 on the rest of my face, I had fingertip sized white spots on my skin.  :)  Then I began using a lip brush and carefully applying just to the areas I want it, including my undereye area.  It doesn't run or melt off.  It totally stays where you put it even in 110 degrees F.  No joke, this is just a perfect sunscreen, in my experience.

      The ingredients for this Scarscreen are:

      Active ingredients: 15% zinc oxide

      Inactive Ingredients: c12-c15 alkyl benzoic acid, cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20, citric acid, corn starch, dimethicone, ethylhexyl glycerin, glyceryl stearate, isostearic acide, methyl gluceth-10,methylecellouse, PEG-40 stearate, polyhydroxystearic acide, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol, SDA 40B alcohol, xanthan gum, water

      Wow, I didn't mean for this to be so long, but I'm so thankful Scarscreen is doing wonderful things for my often jacked up skin!

      You can purchase Scarscreen SPF30, (2 fl oz, made in USA, $25), on the Dermaflage website.  There is no better time than now.  I would have been able to prevent some annoying scars from the past three years if I'd had this product.  You can learn more about Dermaflage by following them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTubeInstagram, Pinterest and Google +. 

      I have had GREAT success with this product in sun protection, healing and fading.  Technology in the beauty industry just gets better and better!!  This is the first product I use on my face every morning and I never leave home without it.  It is my favorite skincare product.

      Do you have any scars that need excellent protection?  Or had any in the past that the sun discolored or made larger?  What is your current skincare favorite?

      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? 

      Monday, June 6, 2016

      How Bed Head By TIGI Turned Me Into A Beachy Waves Curly Haired Lover

      Until about a month ago, if you'd seen me out and about town, I'd probably look like some kind of variation of the following.

      It would be a natural assumption to think I had straight hair.  However, the truth is something vastly different.  In it's natural state, my hair looks something like this when wet:

      And letting it air dry was always a nightmare and why I have straightened my hair for years.

      It's got kinky spiral curls and some strands that are more wavey than curly.  It has been the source of endless frustration for me, trying to tame the beast.  I've said over and over that I'm having a bad hair life.  I couldn't work with the curliness or wear it natural until Bed Head by Tigi tools arrived at my door.  They have been hair-life changing for me.

      ionic, ceramic tourmaline, Wave Artist, hair dryer, hair

      On the top left is the purple Bed Head A Wave We Go Waver.  At the top right is the teal colored Bed Head Wave Artist tourmaline ceramic Deep Waver.   In the middle of the picture, you will find the Bed Head CurliPops Diffuser Dryer.

      The little lime green iron on the bottom is the Bed Head by Tigi mini flat iron that can be used to touch up bangs, short hair, of little doo dads here and there.  It retails for $19.99 at Ulta.  Don't let that small 1/2" size fool you, this baby can take on the tasks of the biggies, working away at 400F.  I can use this on my bangs right now while they're not long enough yet for the wavers.

      So onto my experiences!!

      hair care, wavey hair, curly hair

      The first time I used the Curlipops diffusing dryer, I totally couldn't believe it.  I've used diffusers before, even others made specifically for curly hair with no luck at all.  I could never get anything that looked decent, much less looked ok, or even good.

      The diffusing dryer has tourmaline ionic technology for frizz free texture and shine.  You can dry and diffuse on low, high or cool and it also has a cold shot button to lock in those curls and that shine.  Mine came in a box, but I've seen the current packaging at Ulta, where it retails for $34.99, to be the plastic packaging that most items are in these days.  Can we just take a moment to realize that it matches my hair colors?  Nice.  Here's a look at the controls, including the cool shot button.

      The box had suggested to dry your hair with it a bit and then diffuse the curls.

      curly hair, waves, wavey, haircare

      I keep the diffuser attached and lean over and dry it that way.  And what used to be my endless frustration, after I use the Curlipops diffusing dryer, is something I actually like!!!

      My curls never made sense to me before!  They were all over the place.  Parts would be straight and flat and the ends were bouncy and frizzy.  I hated it and refused to wear my hair natural.  I can handle it now using the Curlipops.  It gives me great curl, some shine and volume.

      Last week I dried with the Curlipop and the next day, used the purple A Wave We Go Waver.   It has tourmaline ceramic technology which helps hold a curl without the frizz and gives your hair shine.  It has an adjustable waver barrel so that you can decide if you want crimped loose or defined curls.  With multiple heat settings, you can bring it up to 400F, if you need to.  A Wave We Go retails for $39.99.

      A Wave We Go, Wave Artist, hair, curly, wavey

      I found the waver to be SO easy to work with.  I don't allot much time to do my hair in the morning, but I really didn't need much.  It was easy to just pop those waves in.  I adjusted it a few times all around my head to play with the different level of waves.

      Looking back, I find it somewhat embarassing that my goofy faced pictures show my curls better than my human faced pics.  What can you do?  It's just me.  I make a lot of goofy faces while taking pictures.

      One of my favorite ways to wear my curly hair, as I did that way, is with a hair band.  My bangs are currently shorter than what I like, and on this particular day, there were massive winds in Phoenix.  I wanted to keep some order to my hair so I threw on a one of my favorite hair bands.  It tames my bangs and allows the curls to have their freedom!!!

      About a month ago, I felt inspired by Cochella to create a free spirited look.  I used the teal Bed Head by Tigi Wave Artist after drying with Curlipops.  This creates distinctive sculpted waves and also has the tourmaline technology to produce softer, shinier waves without frizz.  The Wave Artist has an adjustable heat setting as well as a locking switch, which I found super handy as it's heating up in the whole 30 seconds that it takes.  It retails for $29.99.

      During the whole process, I put a lot of pictures on Snapchat, and this post already has too many pictures of me, but I'll share a few to show you the look I achieved using the stationary Wave Artist Deep Waver.  I lost most of my pictures when my phone died but was able to snag some with the hubsters phone off social media.

      The Wave Artist Deep Waver does an excellent job of putting those beachy vibe waves in the hair.  They held until I decided to wash my hair on the fifth day.  I've never had decent curls hold so long before.

      And I had a lot of fun with this.  Something that I never experienced while working with my curls.  I used to always work against them before using these Bed Head by Tigi products.

      You need a waver.

      Everyone needs a waver.

      I had this whole Cochella festival type of look in mind when I started, but even without the daisy headband, I love how my hair looks using these tools.

      I've never had more fun with my hair in my life.  I love the look of messy curls and love the lighter waves.  I'm over the moon with how the Curlipops dries my hair.  I certainly haven't mastered the wavers yet....there are so many options with the A Wave We Go that I'll need many more trials before I decide my favorite depth...if I decide on a favorite...they're all good depending on what look you're going for.  And the Wave Artist is beautiful with it's own personality.

      You can learn more about the tools and decide on your perfect wavey or beachy look by following Bed Head by Tigi on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.  Follow them on their website for more videos, how to's and information.

      As my bottom line, I highly recommend all three of these items.  The technology is impressive and the performance is outstanding.  They have taken me from hair hater to hair curious to hair affair.

      Thank you for hanging in for this long post.  Have you had a hair challenge that you couldn't conquer?  How did you gain victory over the beast?  Or do you have a current hair challenge that you'd like to share?

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