Category: Skincare Reviews

Why Haven’t There Been Any Recent Posts? Where Have I Been? My struggle with High Blood Pressure and New Allergies

longer title

Are you still blogging?” I get this question a lot.

It is not an easy question to answer because I feel a bit of shame over it, but I feel like I owe it to you to be vulnerable and honest about my shortcomings in the blogging arena. I love my blog. I love doing it. It brings me such joy to purchase new products, try them out, test them under the harshest Louisiana heat, and report back to you where your money is best served. However, I have not been able to do that lately due to some health issues and my work schedule.

First, I am a full time litigation attorney, which requires a great deal of my brain space. I love my job, and I love advocating for clients, but it wears on you emotionally, mentally, and physically at times. I took a new job in May 2015 that significantly increased the need for my brain space causing increased emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. When I got home, I just didn’t have the energy to pull out my laptop and work on my blog. It felt like I was working 100+ hour weeks, which left no time to take care of myself and no quality time for me and Justin.

During this transition, I became suddenly ill and was in the hospital for four days with blood pressure that would not come down. (It was 265/165 – surprisingly I wasn’t having strokes or heart attacks.) I was placed on new medications, and sent on my way. On top of that, my physical activity decreased because I was not allowed to work out until the doctor’s cleared me to do so. As a result, I quit eating healthily and managed to put on nearly 30 pounds! (This is crazy to me.) What came next was, and to some extent still is, the most frustrating situation with which I’ve ever dealt. I began having allergic reactions to everything skincare, body care, and hair care. My skin began to break out into dry patches on my face, neck, and lips, then crack and bleed. It itched, it burned, and worst of all it hurt to eat. Any time anything vinegar-based, alcohol-based (even wine), or spicy touched my lips, I wanted to scream out in pain. I stopped wearing makeup and using skincare because everything burned. EVERYTHING was searing my horribly ill skin like a steak on a grill.

It is difficult for me to share these photos. But these were all taken in January when the staph was at its worst. You can see the swelling and dry red patches.
It is difficult for me to share these photos. But these were all taken in January when the staph was at its worst. You can see the swelling and dry red patches.

So, I set off to the dermatologist to begin our journey to healing this skin issue. We began treatment and after a month, it had not gone away. Eventually we figured out that I was experiencing a staph infection on my face. I had never heard of such a thing, but apparently it is very common in children. I had to throw out all makeup, skincare, makeup brushes (including my Beauty Blender!), makeup/beauty tools, etc. that I had used during the staph infection. I was forced to purchase prescription steroid and antibiotic creams instead of skincare. I didn’t feel like myself, but I thought it would be temporary; that we would treat it for a few weeks and everything would be fine because we finally had an answer. We treated the staph accordingly, and a month later, the dry patches, cracking and bleeding came back. This time, there was no staph present, and therefore, no real answer. I was heartbroken. I felt like screaming “What gives? What is happening to my body? I want my body back! How did all of this happen so quickly? Why can’t we fix it?

In an effort to find the culprit, my doctor did the T.R.U.E. Patch Testing to determine if I was allergic to the most common ingredients found in skincare, body care, makeup, etc.

Here's what the TRUE Patch testing looks like.
Here’s what the TRUE Patch testing looks like. I had to wear this stuff, covered in tape (which I was allergic to because of the carba mix in adhesives) for two days. It itched like crazy.

It turned out that I was reactive/allergic to fragrance mix (synthetic fragrance to mask other chemical smells) and carba mix (synthetic accelerator in manufacturing rubber and agricultural chemicals) — which are in nearly EVERYTHING! Here’s a quick list of what products contain each component:

  • Fragrance Mix — perfume, body lotions, face lotions, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, dry shampoo, eye cream, foundation, mascara, detergents, dish soap, candles, cleaning products, soap, bath gel, etc.
  • Carba Mix — shoes, flip flops, rubber gloves, pesticides, tires, underwear with rubber elastic, swimwear, toys, balloons, condoms, garden hoses, waistbands, slippers, mattresses, earphones, rubber bands, some soaps, shampoos, and adhesives, etc.

Let me tell you, these are the two components to which you DO NOT want to be reactive. Justin and I had no idea what we were doing and how to purge our home of these substances in the most practical way. After the staph diagnosis, we used regular cleaning products to clean up the entire house only to later learn that I was reacting to those products the entire time. So, we spent a great deal of money on replacing all soap, detergent, dryer sheets, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotions, etc.

Here are a few of the fragrance free beauty products I have been using.
Here are a few of the fragrance free beauty products I have been using.

At this point, we are maintaining. Every time I have tried to get off the antibiotic that keeps the inflammation at bay, it comes right back. So, we are slowly trying to taper off, and more extensive testing will be done soon. Having gone through this whole story with you, I hope you understand my absence. I felt that since I was unable to try new products, I couldn’t bring you valuable worthwhile information. Months of watching my skin crack and bleed became depressing. I didn’t feel like me anymore. I felt unattractive, unworthy, and I even began fat shaming myself with my internal dialogue. I am working through that by eating healthy, working out again, and slowly tapering off medications. I’m finding that the more healthy I become, the better my skin gets. I honestly believe that a great deal of this bodily inflammation is a result of weight gain and unhealthy food choices. If you’re interested in my health, food, and workout journey, let me know in the comments, and I can start working that in as regular posts.

Here are two shots of my skin during the antibiotics without makeup. You can see the redness on my cheeks on the left still present. On the right, you see a great improvement, except for the lines and wrinkles around the eyes due to extreme dryness.
Here are two shots of my skin during the antibiotics without makeup. You can see the redness on my cheeks on the left still present ( I promise that’s not blush). On the right, you see a great improvement, except for the lines and wrinkles around the eyes due to extreme dryness and a little redness on the upper cheek bones.

In another light, I now have some insight into what it’s like to have really reactive and sensitive skin. I can help more people than I could before this experience. I have found great products that work and are readily available at drug stores and Sephora. I’ve learned how to read labels better, because manufacturers will try to trick you! Fragrance mix alone has 42 legally usable names. Forty freaking Two!! Carba Mix has 45! Manufacturers are even allowed to advertise a product as “fragrance free” if the fragrance mix added is to mask another scent or chemical smell, but not if it is used to perfume a product. Y’all, that’s insane! My attorney brain gets very angry over the ways our FDA is regulating (or rather not regulating) the labeling of products.

So, as I lay ALL MY MESS before you, I want you to know that I will be blogging again. I will be featuring new products that I have found that I know are safe for ALL skin types. And, as I continue this journey, I will share what I’m learning about labels, the FDA process of approving (or lack thereof) cosmetics and skincare, and how to find the safest products for you. Don’t worry, I’m not gonna go all crazy on you and swear off everything because trust me, I have refused to give up my dry shampoo which contains fragrance mix. I won’t do it. It’s the only one I like that works. (I may be a bit stubborn. lol)

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I’m happy to talk about this with you. A month ago, I was not in a place to do so, but I have pulled myself up by the bootstraps with the grace of God, Justin, some really amazing friends, family, and my medical team. Thank you for reading this. Please accept my apologies for being absent. I truly love writing this blog, and it has been difficult not having this community of beauty lovers in my life. I will resume regular posts again soon! Stay tuned for some cool new products!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

xoxo,

Candice

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Empties III: Part 1 Bodycare

Bodycare Empties Composite

So we all know that the best products are the ones you use until they are completely gone — the ones that force you grab a tool to scrape out the very last drops! I love to read about empties and watch videos about them on YouTube, and I love sharing mine with you. I have so many that I will have to split them into several categories. Let’s start with bodycare!

 

Kneipp Herbal Bath in Lavender, $5.50 available at Kneipp.com
Kneipp Herbal Bath in Lavender, $5.50 available at Kneipp.com

1. Kneipp Herbal Bath in Lavender

This is one of my all time favorite bubble baths. It doesn’t lather and create luscious bubbles like many others do, but it does give the most concentrated scent. It also makes the bath a beautiful teal blue. The wonderful thing about this product is that it comes in several different scents for aromatherapy effects. Lavender is balancing; Mandarin & Orange is stress reducing; Juniper for muscle soothing, etc. You can order the Kneipp Lavender Herbal Bath for only $5.50 (0.67 oz) or $20.00 (3.38oz), and check out all the other scents here. The smaller bottle gets you approximately 2-3 baths; whereas the larger bottle gets you around 5-6 baths. All you need to do is light a candle, dim the lights, add a little to running water, jump in the bath, and breathe deeply. You may even want to have a glass of wine! This is definitely a product that I will continue to purchase this one over and over again because it feels and smells so luxurious.

Moringa Cream Body Scrub from The Body Shop, $20
Moringa Cream Body Scrub from The Body Shop, $20

2. Moringa Cream Body Scrub from The Body Shop

The Body Shop scrubs are, by far, some of the best body scrubs I have ever used. They are sufficiently “scrubby” combined with good hydration without being harsh, scratchy, or drying. I love the sweet floral scent of the morenga seed oil. It’s so bright and fresh. If you aren’t a floral person, this scent could convert you since it’s not over powering; it’s gentle and soft and very feminine.

Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub, $20
Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub from The Body Shop, $20

3. Wild Argan Oil Rough Scrub from The Body Shop

This scrub from The Body Shop is similar to the Morenga Cream Scrub, but far more hydrating because it’s made with 100% wild argan oil. Aside from that distinction, they function the same as exfoliators, but what I REALLY LOVE about this product is that it benefits women in Morocco. If you’re really interested, Fleur, of the YouTube channel Fleur de Force, did a great vlog at the facility where the argan oil is made. Check it out here. I love knowing the backstory on a product, but it’s even better when the product is amazing! Definitely a product I have already repurchased.

Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath from The Body Shop, $15
Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath from The Body Shop, $15

4. Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath from The Body Shop

From the same Body Shop line, the Wild Argan Oil Bubbling Bath is fantastic! It bubbles and lathers so nicely while still maintaining the bath oil quality for deep moisturizing. This is a great buy through the winter months to just relax in the tub and rehab dry winter skin. Plus, it smells so lovely — slightly nutty but very fresh and lightly sweet. You’ll leave the tub thanking yourself, I promise!!

Fuji Green Tea Body Butter, $7 - $21
Fuji Green Tea Body Butter, $7 – $21

5. Fuji Green Tea Body Butter from The Body Shop

If you’ve never tried a Body Shop Body Butter, you are missing out! These are the creamiest, most hydrating, non-greasy body moisturizers ever! I particularly love this scent, the Fuji Green Tea, because it’s slightly minty and cool while also being very green (as the green tea might suggest). It’s a scent that’s great for both men and women because it’s neither sweet nor floral. My boyfriend loves this one (and has gone through a few tubs); he loves putting it on his pretty bald head after he showers. It’s got a slight tingle to it, but still something that’s great for sensitive skin because it’s not a burning tingle like some others. I love that you can purchase it in different sizes — travel (1.69 oz) and regular (6.76 oz). Definitely one that will stick around as a staple in our home!

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, $33.95 (7.9 oz)
Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner, $33.95 (7.9 oz)

6. Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner from LUSH

If you’re like me and you either don’t have time or always forget to moisturize your body when you get out of the shower, this is the PERFECT product for you. As your last step in the shower, simply drench your skin in the product as if you were putting on regular moisturizer, let sit for a minute or two, and then rinse off! Super easy! Oh, and you can also use it as a shaving cream if you like! It leaves your skin feeling supple, soft, and smelling so good! Infused with rose oil, goji berries, argan oil, cocoa butter, and cupucau butter, your skin (and others around you) will thank you. Side note: my boyfriend ALWAYS notices when I use this, and comments on how nice I smell when I get out of the shower. This is my second pot of this, and LUSH recycles, so save those black LUSH containers. Five empty clean containers gets you a free fresh facemask!

Skintimate SkinTherapy Moisturizing Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin, $4
Skintimate SkinTherapy Moisturizing Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin, $4

7. Skintimate SkinTherapy Moisturizing Shave Gel for Sensitive Skin from any drugstore

I have super sensitive skin, whether it’s on my face or my legs, so I have to be careful with razors and shaving creams. Anything too soapy or foamy just gives me the worst razor burn. This shaving gel is super cheap and, honestly, is the best one I’ve used. I’ve been using it for over 10 years, and always go back to it. It’s a gel to foam formula that foams nicely, moisturizes the skin to help prevent razor burn, and doesn’t leave a gooey residue. Definitely a winner!

Women Mitchum Oxygen Odor Control Advanced Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant, $4
Women Mitchum Oxygen Odor Control Advanced Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant, $4

8. Women Mitchum Oxygen Odor Control Advanced Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant from any drugstore

Yes, let’s chat about deodorant. I have used this brand since I was in high school. Sure, I dabbled in other brands along the way, but the clear gel is where it’s at. No white streaks. Quick drying. Works properly….until you hit your 30’s! I don’t know what happened, so I blame the mid-30s hormone shift, but it just didn’t do the job anymore. So, I finished off my last tube and walked into my new era of deodorant (see No. 9). But, if you’re in the market to try a new one, this one is great! It may work for you. It treated me well for many years.

Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant, $7
Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant, $7

9. Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant in Cool Essentials from any drugstore

Holy Mother of Keeping Us Ladies Dry and Smelling Sweet! I may have fallen in love with an antiperspirant. This is the BEST thing I have ever used, and I doubt I will ever return to a solid or gel formula for antiperspirant or deodorant. This dry spray smells incredibly fresh and clean, but if you don’t like cucumber, there are several other scents. As soon as you spray it on, it’s dry and doesn’t leave white marks on clothing. It’s so much faster to apply than solid deodorant/antiperspirant because you need a quick spray, and BOOM!, you’re done. It’s great for a quick refresh throughout the day as well. Whether you endure intense sweaty workouts or glisten when cleaning the house, this antiperspirant keeps you smelling like the beautiful delicate lady you are. Seriously, GO BUY THIS! Also, I bought the men’s version for boyfriend, and he loves it too. We have both totally converted to dry spray.

Lavender Chamomile Body Mist, $15
Lavender Chamomile Body Mist, $15

10. Lavender Chamomile Body Mist from Bath & Body Works

In past empties, I have ranted and raved about the Bath & Body Works Pillow Mist! (To check that out, click here.) But, the last time I went, they were sold out of the pillow mist, so I used this as an alternate option for the same use. They work the same, but the Pillow Mist is actually $5 cheaper for more product (1.3 oz more!). So, go for the Pillow Mist, even if you have to order it; you’ll still get more for your money.

Dr. Teal's Pure Epsom Salt Foaming Bath Soothe & Sleep with Lavender, $6
Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Foaming Bath Soothe & Sleep with Lavender, $5

11. Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Foaming Bath Soothe & Sleep with Lavender from any drugstore

This is the perfect bubble bath for the day after a hard workout to soothe sore muscles and relax the body. I’m sure you’ve sensed that I have a lavender problem by now, but I just love how soothing it is in bath and body products. This works just like any other bubble bath, but with the added bonus of the epsom salt muscle relief. Hard day in the yard? Long day on the train? Whatever you do that makes you feel sore or stiff is certainly helped by a long hot bath with this goodie! Plus, it’s cheap and you get can get it at Wal Mart. So, there’s that — budget friendly and easily accessible.

That’s all the bodycare items I have for this time! Check back soon for Haircare Empties! They are up next!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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What’s In My Travel Bag? (Packing for France – TSA Approved Liquids)

 

I am leaving for France this week on a two week wine and beauty trip with my friend, Myrna, and her company, Roux Wine Tours. I decided early on that I would only be taking a carry-on and a large tote/purse so I don’t have to heave luggage through the streets of Paris and on trains! In an effort to keep everything compact and simple, I’ve been rummaging through my beauty collection to see what travel sizes I have on-hand and what I really need to purchase.

If you’ve traveled at all in the United States, you are likely aware of the TSA’s ban on liquids over a certain size. The rule is 3-1-1, which means no liquids more than 3 oz., in 1 quart-sized clear bag, for 1 person. The quart-sized bag I’m using today came with my London Fog Carry On, and it has a loop to strap into the case. I was pretty excited to find that included with my luggage, so I didn’t have to purchase one. So, here are a few tips and a peek into what’s in my travel bag and packing for France.

TSA approved liquids composite

Top Row from Left to Right:

1. Using an old empty Korres moisturizer container (1.35oz) and a beauty spoon, I transferred my Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm into the container for easy transport. I always save the sturdy containers for traveling when I’m finished with a product. Good ones to keep are glass pots and the LUSH fresh facemasks pots! In this situation, I transferred it because the regular Emma Hardie packaging is over the approved limit for size and is quite bulky to travel with. Plus, this is plenty enough product to get me through 2 weeks. (For my review of the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm, click here).

2. Travel size Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet  (0.33oz) as my moisturizer. I love this stuff! It has a great mousse-gel texture and just quenches skin’s thirst using a blend of grape water, grape seed extract, and shea butter extract. (I actually purchased this kit from Sephora, which includes the sorbet, the serum, and the spray.)

3. Regular size (2.2 oz) Women’s Mitchum 48 Hour Protection in Shower Fresh. Because, sweat and body odor. Nobody wants that.

4. Weleda Skin Food (2.5oz), available at Target, as my in-flight skin saver. I have not tried this yet, so I’m really hoping it works. Since this is a long-haul flight and air cabins contain a 80% deficit in the proper humidity for skin, it’s necessary to moisturize in-flight. Because I already have such dry skin, I’m taking Skin Food since it is super thick and nourishing (or is supposed to be!) I’ll certainly update you as to my feelings on this product!

5. Shampoo & Conditioner. First, I bought a set of these cute little polka dot travel containers at Target to put my products in. You can find those here. I’ll let you know if they leak or not. Next, I simply transferred my current shampoo and conditioner into the bottles, and packed them up. Right now, I am using Proganix AntiFade Cherry Blossom shampoo and conditioner. I’ve only been using it a few weeks, and so far I really like it. It is sulfate free color protection, and I like that it claims to protect against UV damage. You can find them at Ulta, Walgreens, and CVS. Here are the links if you want to check them out: shampoo and conditioner.

6. For my in-flight skincare regimen (on flights over 4 hours), I like to use a hydrating facemask to lock in moisture. Obviously, a clay mask would be quite conspicuous, so I opt for one that goes on clear and can be used as a sleeping mask. Because of its size, I chose the Nuxe Masque Crème Fraiche de Beaute for 24 hour rehydration. I got this in my Glossybox, and you can actually purchase it from their website, here. I love this mask so much! It’s one of my favorites for hydration.

7. Of course, I cannot travel without a micellar cleansing water, so I used a smaller bottle to use for some of my Bioderma. I have the 500 mL size at home, so that is not only against the 3-1-1 TSA rules, but also it’s just way too bulky to travel with anyway. I will be restocking on this when I’m in Paris. It’s the only place you can get the travel-sized Bioderma, so that will replace this little dinky bottle for future travel. (If you’re interested on some different micellar waters, have a look here.)

Bottom Row Left to Right:

1. Perfume samples. I didn’t want to pack a large bottle of perfume, and I’m actually running super low on all my favorites at the moment, so I couldn’t decant them into my Travelo. Since I have so many samples on stand-by, I opted for three sample sizes : Oscar de la Renta’s Coralina, Tocca’s Bianca, and Joya’s Composition No.1 mini-rollerball.

2. Navy Pots: Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes it is easier and more convenient on space to decant some of your liquids, creams, and gels into smaller containers. I thought the set I purchase from Target came with a good selection of container sizes, so here we have 2 small pots.

  • Smaller Pot — coconut oil. I cannot do skincare without coconut oil, so I liquefied about a tablespoon, and put it into the little pot to solidify. I use it for so many things, so if you’re interested in that, I’ve done a full post here.
  • Larger Pot — my heavier overnight moisturizer, which is currently the Vichy Liftactiv Nuit. I love this moisturizer. It’s not too thick, and it sinks into your skin almost instantly. When I wake up in the morning, it’s completely obvious my skin got a heavy dose of much needed hydration.

3. Toothpaste (0.25oz). I did not get super picky here; I just picked up what was available in the travel section at Walgreens.

4. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. This is my favorite concealer. It has great coverage, staying power, and it’s brightening. Oh, and it’s cheap! Another great UK drugstore find. (I’m still searching for an online retailer. I’ll update this post as soon as I get a viable link that will ship to the US.)

5. NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait (0.23oz). This color is a great everyday gloss that also goes over most lipsticks well for added shine. The formula is very moisturizing, but because it’s so slippery, consistent reapplication is necessary. You can find NYX at Target, CVS, and Ulta.

6. Garnier Ultra Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream (0.5oz) as my eye cream. I just started using this based on a recommendation from a friend. So far, I like it, but I haven’t been using it long enough to report on the effectiveness. It’s a jelly consistency eye gel for overnight use, and is very cooling on the skin! It contains hyaluronic acid in to boost collagen production, increase moisture, and help to slough off dead skin cells. (available at drugstores)

7. Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster (0.25oz) for my serum. This another product I’ve just recently started using, but so far I like it. And again, I haven’t been using it long enough to report on effectiveness or results. It contains Vitamin C for boosting collagen production, brightening skin tone, and reducing fine lines. (This is another one I’ll get back to you on via an update right here). This product is available at Sephora.

8. Foundation. Right now I’m using the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation (in No.54). It comes in a TSA approved size, but the packaging was too bulky and took up too much room, so I opted to make room by decanting it into the small pot. (The foundation is available on Amazon, as it is only sold in UK drugstores.)

So, I was able to get 16 products into my 3-1-1 TSA Approved Travel Bag. Here’s the final result.

Side A of the quart-sized liquids bag.
Side A of the quart-sized liquids bag.
Side B - final pack
Side B – final pack

I hope you found this post helpful or interesting. Check back tomorrow to see what I managed to fit into this makeup bag!! If you have any travel/packing suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

travel makeup bag

xoxo,

Candice

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DIY Brightening Face Masks

Title Photo

Hello! We are back with part 3 of 6 of the DIY face mask series, and today it’s all about brightening. I love brightening masks because over time they aid in evening out skin tone, lightening dark spots, and giving skin an all over glow. Just as in the other posts, you’ll find masks for sensitive skin, normal skin, and oily skin. But don’t forget, if you are allergic to any of these ingredients when ingested, then you will also be allergic to them topically. If you aren’t sure, do a small test patch for 15 minutes to be certain! So, let’s get to it!

Sensitive Basil

Ingredients

  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Muddle basil in the squeezed lemon juice like you would in a cocktail. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle (which I don’t), use the end of a spatula or wooden spoon. Apply the mixture to the skin and let sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Basil — Basil is great on the eye area as it aids in reducing inflammation, prevents infections, and soothes stress-induced fine lines. It also helps to prevent the appearance of blackheads, and improves skin’s appearance by evening out skin tone.
  • Lemon Juice — Filled with citric acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid), lemon juice serves to lighten skin while simultaneously exfoliating the top layer. Interestingly, lemon juice works in the same way a low-level chemical peel does. Plus, it has Vitamin C, which serves to aid in reversing damage from free radicals to improve tone and texture.
Tip: If you have super dry skin, add a tablespoon of honey to this recipe to combat any dryness the lemon juice may cause!

sensitive papaya

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup pureed papaya
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Directions

Cut papaya in cubes, and pulse in a blender or food processor for a few seconds until it’s almost the consistency of a puree. Combine papaya, honey, and grapefruit juice. Apply to skin for 15 minutes. Remove with warm water.

Benefits

  • Pink Grapefruit — Like lemon juice, pink grapefruit has loads of Vitamin C and citric acid, which are both great ingredients for skin brightening and helping with collagen production. (We need healthy collagen production to keep skin looking plump and youthful.) But grapefruit also contains lycopene which is an amazing antioxidant (also why the fruit generally has such bright color). Lycopene improves cellular functions in skin cells on a DNA level which means that the body doesn’t need to use its internal repair system! Lycopene helps protect from overexposure to UV light (naturally has an SPF of 3! How cool!) and aids in blocking the enzymes that break down your collagen supply.
  • Papaya — Also a great source of lycopene, papaya contains the enzyme called papain, which helps heal skin by removing dead skin cells without harming healthy skin cells/tissue, which gives skin a healthy glow while improving texture. It also contains Vitamin A (an alpha-hydroxyl acid for exfoliation) and has a “low sodium content” which means it helps skin retain moisture. If you are most concerned with brightening/whitening of skin or pigmentation spots, be sure to choose a green (unripe) papaya because it has more papain than ripe ones.
  • Honey — Honey naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, so it is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores. It’s also  a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture. Honey is great for sensitive or oily skin, so for this recipe, it helps to balance out any potential dryness caused by the citric acid in grapefruit.

Substitutions — you can substitute papaya with cooked and cooled tomatoes, watermelon, cooked and cooled asparagus, mango, or carrots (but as you progress through this list of substitutions, the amount of lycopene drops).

Normal Kiwi

Ingredients

  •  2 slices kiwi, peeled & muddled/mashed
  • 1/4 avocado, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions

Peel and slice kiwi, place in bowl. Peel and slice ripe avocado, place in bowl. Mash and/or muddle kiwi and avocado together. Add in fresh squeezed orange juice and mix thoroughly. Apply to skin for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Benefits

  • Kiwi — Kiwi is a lovely skincare ingredient because it does so many things. With the Vitamin C, it helps brighten skin and aid in collagen production to keep skin looking youthful. It also contains high concentrations of Vitamin E, which is great for hydration and helps natural regeneration of cells. Kiwi also has Omega-3 fatty acids that are wonderful in decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of acne occurrences. Also, when kiwi is mixed with a citric acid (like orange, lemon, or grapefruit juice), it will control any excess sebum/oil production on the skin. It’s also high in amino acids, which help fight harmful sun exposure, thus preventing sun damage. Kiwi contains enzymes that help exfoliation of dead skin cells. Last, but certainly not least (I could go on and on about kiwi), its like a transporter of nutrients, so it basically functions as a conduit for nutrients to the dermal layers of your skin (and it’s generally pretty difficult for anything topical to reach those layers).
  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Fresh Orange Juice — oranges have massive amounts of Vitamin C, which helps to brighten your complexion, fade dark spots, and bring a general glow to the skin.

Oily

Ingredients

  •  2 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 banana, mashed or pureed
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions

Mash or puree banana. Mix pureed banana with honey and grapefruit juice. Apply to skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes

Benefits

  • Pink Grapefruit — Like lemon juice, pink grapefruit has loads of Vitamin C and citric acid, which are both great ingredients for skin brightening and helping with collagen production. (We need healthy collagen production to keep skin looking plump and youthful.) But grapefruit also contains lycopene which is an amazing antioxidant (also why the fruit generally has such bright color). Lycopene improves cellular functions in skin cells on a DNA level which means that the body doesn’t need to use its internal repair system! Lycopene helps protect from overexposure to UV light (naturally has an SPF of 3! How cool!) and aids in blocking the enzymes that break down your collagen supply.
  • Banana — Bananas are high in Vitamins A, B, C, and E, so they are great for hydrating, brightening, and exfoliating. They are also great at reducing inflammation and itching. High concentrations of manganese protect the skin from damage of free radicals, and the Vitamin B6 helps in keeping skin’s elasticity in check. Vitamin A keeps skin look bright as it helps combat dull sallow skin, and of course, the Vitamin C helps to brighten!
  • Honey — Honey naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, so it is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores. It’s also  a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture. Honey is great for sensitive or oily skin, so for this recipe, it helps to balance out any potential dryness caused by the citric acid in grapefruit.

That concludes the brightening episode! Please let me know if you try any of these, and which ones you’ve liked best so far!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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Mardi Gras Skin Recovery (or Hangover Skin Recovery)

mardi gras skin recovery

Mardi Gras is officially over, and we’ve all partied our little hearts out, while also dehydrating our bodies and angering our skin. So, I’ve devised a little plan to help you rejuvenate tired hungover skin.

before and after

1. Hydrate

We all know the importance of hydration in general, but when it comes to hangovers or multiple days of partying, it’s critical. Not just for your internal organs, but also for your skin. While there is only one bottle of water pictured here, that was my third that morning. Keeping your body hydrated helps keep your skin plump and less dry which reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sallowness.

2. Cleanse

I can’t stress this one enough – cleanse and cleanse well, not harshly, but well. Removing all the dirt, sweat, and other environmental nastiness your skin absorbed is essential to giving it an opportunity to recover. I love the Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm. It’s a gentle, but insanely effective, cleanser that doesn’t foam. It can be used as a basic cleanser or even as an overnight mask. I’ve done a review here if you’re interested in reading more, but the basic point of Step 2 is to make sure you properly cleanse.

3. Calm

This is an essential step. Calming the angry skin is necessary. It needs soothing ingredients to reduce inflammation and absorb necessary nutrients. For this, I like the Ayesha Fresh Face Mask from Lush as its main purpose is to refresh tired dull skin. The Ayesha features a blend of kiwi (rich in Vitamin C for brightening), asparagus (to nourish and absorb excess oil), honey (for hydrating and reducing inflammation), and witch hazel (for tightening). Truth be told, this is one of my favorite masks of all time.

4. Nourish

As you might know by now, I am a huge fan of coconut oil for skincare. It’s cheap, easy to find, and provides a host of skin benefits. For this step, I do a coconut oil mask. All you need to do is liquefy about a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage it into your skin. Let that absorb into the skin for 30 minutes to an hour. Gently wipe your face clean with a warm washcloth. This helps nourish the skin due to the high concentrations of lauric acid. Basically, it’s food for the skin! (For other beauty uses of coconut oil, check out this post!) You’ll begin to notice your skin reviving around this step.

5. Repair

Now that you’ve revived your skin, it’s time to repair it using a good serum. Any current serum you are using will do the trick. I like serums because they are designed to enhance the absorption of products that come after them, and are concentrated to such a degree that you’re providing your skin with high levels of vitamins and nutrients. I used the Skin & Co Truffle Oil Serum, which I reviewed here. But I also love the Skin, Inc. serums (they will custom blend one suited to your skin’s needs and issues).

6. Strengthen

Its helpful to strengthen the eye area when giving your skin recovery time. The key is finding an eye cream that contains hyalauronic acid. Hyalauronic acid is a fabulous ingredient that not only helps skin retain moisture, but also helps exfoliate without rubbing or scrubbing. I love the BeautiControl Restructuring Eye Creme, which you can read more about here. I’ve been using it for years, and  I love it.

7. Moisturize

The last step is to moisturize to restore hydration from the outside in. Any quality moisturizer will do the job, but today I used Vichy Lift Activ Nuit. I have just started using this one, so I’ll have to get back to you with a full review. Quality moisturizers are key because they help infuse moisture into the outer layers of the skin, which also helps to plump skin, reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and nourish newly forming skin cells.

As you can tell from the before and after photo, there is a very noticeable difference. Skincare isn’t difficult, but with the right steps it can make a drastic change in the appearance of your skin, despite the craziness you put yourself through the night before.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Let me know if you try this! I want to see your before and after pictures!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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DIY Exfoliating Face Masks

Title Photo

Welcome back to the DIY Face Mask series. This installment will cover exfoliation, which is an important part of any skincare routine to remove dead skin cells and increase natural cell turnover. Proper exfoliation helps ward off blackheads and blemishes, as well as reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. As with all of these recipes, know your skin! if you are allergic to any of these ingredients when ingested, you will be allergic to them topically. If you are uncertain, do a small test patch for 15 minutes to be sure! Happy Exfoliating!

DIY Sensitive exfoliating

Ingredients

  • 5 drops lavender oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Mix all ingredients together fully. The consistency of this will be more liquid than a paste. Massage into skin gently for sixty seconds. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off residue with warm water.

Benefits

  • Lavender Oil — never apply essential oils directly to skin without a carrier oil (i.e. olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, etc.); when used topically, lavender oil helps to decrease inflammation, kills bacteria, reduces scarring, soothes pain or irritation, cleanses skin, and helps prevent acne.
  • Brown Sugar — brown sugar is a great gentle exfoliant that contains glycolic acid (natural alpha hydroxyacid aiding in cell turnover) that slows the aging process; also helps with sunspots; brown sugar is also a natural humectant, which means it deposits moisture into the skin and protects skin from toxins
  • Raw Honey — naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, honey helps unclog tired or angry pores, and as a natural humectant helps retain good moisture; in this recipe it is a booster for the exfoliating ingredients
  • Olive Oil — filled with Vitamin A and Vitamin E, olive oil is a great moisturizer and environmental damage preventive; it penetrates deep into pores, so when combined with an exfoliating agent (here: brown sugar) it allows deep and thorough cleansing of bacteria, dead skin cells, and unnecessary oil; helps reduce the signs of aging leaving skin plump and glowing

Tip: This exfoliating mask works very well as a body scrub too. Just multiply the recipe accordingly. I gave these out as Christmas gifts and put them in small 8 oz jars, which allowed me to multiply the recipe times 

DIY Exfoliating sensitive 2

 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds (you can use dry or used; I prefer used because they contain more antioxidants)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions

Mix ingredients together fully. The consistency will be quite oily. Scoop out of container used for mixing and massage into skin for 60 seconds. Let sit on skin for another 60 seconds. Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Coffee Grounds — filled with antioxidants, coffee grounds are great for gentle exfoliation, making the skin appear younger, and aid in reducing the size of pores, while the caffeine helps to reduce inflammation
  • Olive Oil — filled with Vitamin A and Vitamin E, olive oil is a great moisturizer and environmental damage preventive; it penetrates deep into pores, so when combined with an exfoliating agent (here: coffee grounds) it allows deep and thorough cleansing of bacteria, dead skin cells, and unnecessary oil; helps reduce the signs of aging leaving skin plump and glowing

Tip: This can also be used as a body scrub, because coffee also helps to temporarily reduce stretch marks (for about 3-4 hours), which is great for a date night or a beach afternoon.

Normal (2)

 

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Water until it forms a paste

Directions

Mix Greek yogurt and baking soda together, adding in water as necessary until it forms a gooey paste. Massage into skin for 30 seconds, and rinse with warm water.

Benefits

  • Greek Yogurt — loaded with natural lactic acid (an alphahydroxy acid), Greek yogurt helps to exfoliate, rejuvenate, and aid in preventing wrinkles
  • Baking Soda — good as a gentle exfoliant and contains antiseptic properties, but there is a lot of information out there as to whether baking soda is good or bad for the skin because of its alkalinity. Compare these two articles: for baking soda and against baking soda if you’re interested in what people are saying. I’ve used it, but I’m no scientist, and I want to ensure you have all the information to make your own skincare decisions. That said, you can always substitute brown sugar in this recipe.

DIY exfoliating Oily

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of steel cut oats
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Drections

Blend ingredients together in a blender. Scoop out mixture and massage into skin for 60 seconds. Let sit for 5 minutes. Remove with warm water.

Benefits

  • Oatmeal — oatmeal is widely used as a gentle exfoliator with skin calming benefits and is one of the few skicnare ingredients given great rank by the U.S. FDA; great for moisturizing and exfoliating, oatmeal is also known for its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties; it helps to restore the skin’s normal pH levels and soothes irritated skin
  • Agave Nectar — very similar to raw honey, agave nectar has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it also helps to brighten skin and remove pigmentation spots
  • Cucumber — known for its calming and soothing properties, cucumber reduces inflammation and because it’s high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A it will help fight dark circles and hyper pigmentation; the B-5 in cucumbers aids in moisture retention while the silica aids in fighting wrinkles because strengthens connective tissues
  • Fresh Lemon Juice –contains loads of citric acid and Vitamin C, which is great for toning, evening out dark spots, and aids in controlling unnecessary oil; lemon juice is a natural exfoliant and helps target and prevent acne

That concludes the exfoliating installment! If you haven’t already, check out the hydrating installment here! Please let me know if you try any of these! If you have any exfoliating DIY skincare recipes, put them in the comments below! Next up in this series, we will have a look at DIY recipes to target brightening the skin to make it appear glowing!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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DIY Hydrating Face Masks

 

Title Photo

Welcome to the DIY Face Mask Series! All of the masks you will see in this series use ingredients straight from your kitchen or pantry, and they are all super easy to make! This series will include 6 posts on different DIY masks to achieve different results — hydrating, exfoliating, brightening, pore-clearing, calming, and aging. Further, each will feature recipes for each skin type, so there will be something for everyone in this series! (Can you tell I’m excited about this one!?)

I wanted to share some of my favorite recipes with you. First, know your limitations and allergies. If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients when you eat them, you will have a reaction on your skin too. If you aren’t sure, do a small test patch on your hand or wrist before applying. I should note that I have dry sensitive skin, so my repertoire is going to be a little fuller in those areas. Plus, the sensitive skin masks will be safe for all skin types. In fact, most of these are great for any skin type, so feel free to experiment. Due to the nature of the ingredients, they are all more sensitive than chemically-driven face masks.

Keep in mind that many of these natural ingredients serve many different functions in skincare, so feel free to mix and match as you think it suits your needs. For each mask, there will be a recipe plus the reason each ingredient was included.

So, let’s get started!!

Sensitive skin avocado greek yogurt lemon

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 2 tsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Directions 

Mix all ingredients into a creamy paste. You want the consistency to be something that will smooth onto the face like a thick cream. Apply to face and let sit for 15 minutes.Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Greek yogurt — loaded with natural lactic acid (an alphahydroxy acid) which helps exfoliate, rejuvenate, and aid in preventing wrinkles
  • Lemon Juice — contains loads of citric acid and Vitamin C, which is great for toning, evening out dark spots, and aids in controlling unnecessary oil (be careful, don’t use too much lemon juice in this recipe, too much can be drying, so start with a small amount and if you need more, you can add it later)

Sensitive skin avocado banana honey

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1/2 banana mashed
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. The consistency should be that of a very thick creamy-paste. Apply to skin for 15-20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Benefits

  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Banana — filled with loads of Vitamins C and B6, it deposits necessary minerals into the skin for rejuvenation, and because bananas are 75% water, they are great for hydrating the skin to prevent drying and peeling
  • Raw Honey — naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, honey is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores, but because it is a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture

Normal skin

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup steamed and mashed carrots
  • 1/4 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/4 cup raw honey

Directions

Boil or steam carrots. (I prefer steaming so it doesn’t eliminate all the nutrients through heat). Mash carrots and allow them to cool. (Tip: on a night you’re cooking steamed carrots for dinner, reserve enough for your facemask and keep it in the refrigerator).

Mix all ingredients together well. This one is going to be thick and somewhat goopy in its consistency. Apply to face for 15 minutes. Massage as you rinse off with warm water. Wash face well to ensure egg yolk doesn’t stay on the face. You’ll know it’s time to take this one off when the egg dries to the point your face becomes tight when you smile.

Benefits

  • Carrots — rich in several vitamins and minerals, the potassium in carrots can lead to replenishing skin’s natural moisture, and the high content of Vitamin A helps to heal skin conditions (i.e. rashes, dermatitis, etc caused by Vitamin A deficiencies)
  • Avocado — loaded with monosaturated fatty acids for moisturizing, nourishing, softening, regenerating damaged skin cells, and reducing irritation
  • Egg Yolk — contains Vitamin B3 which boots circulation in the skin making it appear healthier; also helps to treat breakouts
  • Lemon Juice — contains loads of citric acid and Vitamin C, which is great for toning, evening out dark spots, and aids in controlling unnecessary oil (be careful, don’t use too much lemon juice in this recipe, too much can be drying, so start with a small amount and if you need more, you can add it later)
  • Raw Honey — naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial, and packed with antioxidants, honey is fabulous for moisturizing as it opens up pores to help unclog tired or angry pores, but because it is a natural humectant, it helps the skin to attract and retain moisture

Oily skin

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice

Directions

Place coconut oil jar in a sink or bowl filled with very warm water for 5 minutes to liquefy. Combine liquefied coconut oil and fresh squeezed orange juice. Massage into skin. Leave on for 20-30 minutes. Gently remove using warm wet washcloth.

Benefits

  • Coconut Oil — You may be concerned that oil on oily skin is NOT OK! Don’t worry, coconut oil is great on oily skin because it’s anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and actually works to pull out the bad oil production from oily skin. This helps balance oily skin while infusing naturally necessary moisture to the skin cells. Think of it this way — with natural oils, it’s Like Attracts Like! So, coconut oil on oily skin is really quite fabulous! I could go on and on about coconut oil, but I won’t! If you’re interested in all the ways coconut oil is great for skin, check out my previous post on the 8 Beauty Uses for Coconut Oil for more detailed information.
  • Orange Juice — oranges have massive amounts of Vitamin C, which helps to brighten your complexion, fade dark spots, and bring a general glow to the skin.

That concludes the hydration episode! Next up is exfoliation, and I’ve got some fun ones for you! Please let me know if you try any of these. If you have a great DIY hydrating face mask, PLEASE leave it in the comments below! I want to try the ones that are working for you!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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Battle of the Cleansing Waters

IMG_5394[1]

To my knowledge, cleansing waters are somewhat new to the beauty market. Basically, they are just a fancier term for “makeup remover.” They aren’t intended to replace your cleanser; it’s just a good way to take off the day. Don’t get me wrong, some are far superior than others, and they’re worth having in your skincare routine. So, today, I’m going to compare the top three cleansing waters currently hyped in the beauty blogosphere. There’s one up-and-comer that’s new to the market, and we will address that one too. For the most part, these are great for any skin type, including sensitive skin.

First, you should know that many of these are called “micellar” or “micellaire” waters because of the micelle molecule. It’s an aggregate of molecules that, when in a water-based solution, behaves more like an oil than a water molecule. So, what does that mean in skincare? It basically means that these waters absorb the makeup on your skin rather then smearing it off onto that cotton pad. How cool is that little bit of science? Who wants to rub their makeup off? I don’t.

Third Place — CAUDALIE EAU MICELLAIRE DEMAQUILLANTE

Available at Sephora.
Available at Sephora.

Caudalie is a French skincare company with a very fascinating story! All of their products are derived from grapevines and grape seeds, which produce some of the world’s foremost skincare ingredients like Reservatrol. Interesting fact: Caudalie was one of the leading companies to remove parabens from their all of their products in 2006.

I absolutely love that this smells of chamomile; it’s not too fragrant, but it smells fresh and calming. I love keeping a small one in my everyday makeup bag for touch-ups or to clean mess-ups, and due to its size, it’s the one I usually travel with. It removes face makeup just fine, but is not great at removing eye makeup. Nonetheless, I have emptied several of these over the last year, and have more to say about them here and here.

Second Place — BIODERMA CREALINE H20 SOLUTION MICELLAIRE

Available at Amazon.com. Prices vary based on sizes.
Available at Amazon.com. Prices vary based on sizes.

Bioderma is a French company founded on the biology of dermatology. All of their products are formulated with a pharmaceutical, medical, and cosmetic approach. The Bioderma Crealine H20 Solution Micellaire removes ALL makeup including eyemakeup. It’s gentle, good for sensitive skin, and does not have a fragrance. It removes eye makeup far easier and gentler than the Caudalie, and has considerably less fragrance than the Caudalie. It is super smooth on the skin and leaves it feeling fesh.

Winner — KOH GEN DO CLEANSING SPA WATER

Available at Sephora.
Available at Sephora.

Koh Gen Do is a Japanese company that began because an actress wanted to create products to care for her over-stressed skin. They do not test on animals and use plant-based ingredients for their products. This cleansing water, is so lovely! It smells lightly of lavender, rosemary, sage, and ginger root. I feel like this one takes off eye makeup the best due to the oils in the formula. It feels a tad softer on the skin, and leaves my face feeling like it just took its first breath. I have recently been traveling, and I opted for this one over the Caudalie (with which I usually travel), and am nearly out as you can tell from the photo.

The Up and Comer — SEPHORA TRIPLE ACTION CLEANSING WATER

This one is getting a lot of hype right now from the blogosphere, and many are saying that it is better than Bioderma. I have tried it in a sample size, and found that it is on par with Bioderma but can sting sensitive eyes. I’ll try it again soon and update this post to see if my thoughts have changed.

Have you tried any of these? Which is your favorite? Are there other ones out there that I should try? Let me know in the comments!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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LUSH: Christmas Bath Bombs

 

It’s nearly Christmas, and every year LUSH brings out their seasonal Christmas line of foamy bath bombs, bubbly bubble bars, cocktail flavored shower gels and more! I am a huge fan of LUSH’s products, so I thought it would be fun to do a quick little run down on some of their Christmas bath bombs. And, I sneaked in one of my favorites from their year-round collection!

First, if you aren’t familiar with LUSH’s products, the bath bombs are the most fun to purchase and use! They are small to medium sized bath additives that smell fantastic and completely change the color of your bath! They fizz slowly as your bath fills up, changing colors, releasing fragrance, and even rose petals or lavender flowers! LUSH’s website states, “”The fresher they are, the fizzier they are. We also use generous helpings of essential oils to make our fragrances, so use them as soon as you’re in the mood.” And, the ones listed here are all vegan!

They’re all sold individually, and each is crazy affordable. LUSH also allows you to create your own little gift pouch or choose from any one of their pre-made gift bags for gift-giving for any season. Every time I give these as gifts, especially to my friends who are mothers of small children, they get rave reviews and even the kids get to sneak one every now and then.

So, here’s what I picked up last week.

ROSE QUEEN, $5.25 (available online and in-store)

Rose Queen bath bomb is a part of LUSH's year-round collection. $5.95/each
Rose Queen bath bomb is a part of LUSH’s year-round collection. $5.95/each

This one is my all-time favorite. It truly feels like a bath made for a queen. It’s super fragrant, and once fizzed out releases rose blossoms and petals. Oh, and it turns your bath water PINK. The fragrance of sweet rose gardens combined with the floating petals and blossoms makes this feel uuber luxurious, like a Kingdom is just outside your bathroom door awaiting your next move. Rose Queen contains rose oil, which in aromatherapy terms, is said to do the following:

  • aphrodesiac/romance enhancer
  • diminshed PMS symptoms
  • helps with menstruation cramps
  • antidepressant/decreases moodiness
  • antiviral
  • antiseptic
  • helps with asthma
  • can aid with insomnia

Seriously, those are all great reasons to try Rose Queen!

Dashing Santa, $5.25 (available seasonally online and in-store)

Dashing Santa Bath Bomb, available seasonally at LUSH. $5.25/each
Dashing Santa Bath Bomb, available seasonally at LUSH. $4.95/each

Isn’t he just so cute?! Dashing Santa is a part of the Christmas collection, and he literally races around the tub delivering all his goodies. His boots fizz quickly propelling him through your bath. This little Santa is all citrus-based with satsuma, mandarin, bergamot and orange absolute. His slight sparkle lights up your bathwater, too! Citrus oils in aromatherapy are known for the following:

  • energizing
  • serves as an antidepressant
  • helps relieve muscle spasms
  • clears up acne/skin issues
  • relaxation

Cinders, $4.95 (available seasonally online and in-store)

Cinders Bath Bomb, available seasonally. $4.95/each
Cinders Bath Bomb, available seasonally. $4.95/each

Cinders sounds similar to what you might expect  — a cozy night cuddled up to a crackling fire. When it fizzes, it sizzles a bit. Loaded with spicy cinnamon leaf and nourishing almond oil, it almost smells like a cold night in front of a fire but amped up in a luxurious way! It also contains Vitamin E for moisturizing skin. Cinnamon Leaf Oil is said to be a great respiratory aid! Who needs a fire when you have Cinders?

Golden Wonder, $6.95 (available seasonally online and in-store)

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb, $6.95/each
Golden Wonder Bath Bomb, $6.95/each

I couldn’t resist this cute little bath bomb shaped like a present, which has a little bath gift inside, but I won’t spoil the surprise for you! It’s filled with sweet orange, lime, and cognac oils along with gardenia extract which brightens any mood. The gift that keeps on giving, these essential oils serve !to energize, aid in blood circulation, and acts like an antidepressant. This one turns your bathwater a beautiful shade of Caribbean water blue! And, since it’s so large, you can actually break it in half and use it twice!

Shoot for the Stars, $6.95 (available seasonally online and in-store)

Shoot for the Stars, $6.95/each
Shoot for the Stars, $6.95/each

This multi-colored bath bomb fizzes from blue to yellow to pink to purple, while casting a pretty silver shimmer as it turns your water the dark indigo of a clear starry night sky. It smells of warm honey and cramel with hints of citrus and bergamot. The silver shimmer leaves a sheen on the skin. With that said, if you hate shimmer anything, this is not the bath bomb for you because you’ll have to clean off the shimmer and clean out your tub. But ultimately, this bath bomb is perfect after a long work day as a great relaxant for sore muscles and super dry skin. This one will make you wish it was part of the year-round collection!

So, what Christmas Bath Bomb will you be picking up? And will it be a gift for a friend or for yourself?

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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Empties II: It’s all about that body! Plus, Tips on Avoiding Dry Winter Skin!

Composite 1

No real need for an introduction here, other than to say welcome back to the Bitter Glitter Empties Series! Today, I’ll go through the body care products I’ve used up! So glad you stopped by, so without further ado, lets get started!

You Need A Blooming Shower. Your Nose Smells Like Rose Body Wash by Anatomicals

Anatomicals Rose front 2

I received this in a Glossybox, and I loved it! Anatomicals makes this great little rose smelling body wash that foams nicely and bubbles marvelously if used as a bubble bath. I often added a few drops of lavender oil when using it as a bubble bath, and it was glorious! It smells like an afternoon walk in an English rose garden, but it’s not over-the-top. If you’re anti-rose smelling scents, this is not for you. The scent is subtle yet freshly floral with a hint of jasmine that lathers nicely. All in all, it is a great body wash with great value for money as it ranges from $5 to $9.50, depending on where you purchase it. You can find Anatomicals at Asos. I will definitely get this one again! It’s one of my all time favorite body washes!

Lemon Zest Energy Body Wash from Bath & Body Works

Energy by Bath & Body Works. DISCONTINUED.
Energy by Bath & Body Works. DISCONTINUED.

I am so incredibly disappointed that Bath & Body Works discontinued this scent from its Aromatherapy line. I have searched everywhere for any extras, but only managed to find it on Amazon with one left, and at a very inflated price. Nonetheless, It was a beautiful morning body wash to wake you up with bright notes of lemon and ginseng. It was the antithesis to the Sleep line, and they worked really well in tandem as day and night companions. Since then, Bath & Body Works has introduced the Orange Ginger fragrance as a substitute, and while I’ve sniffed it a few times in-store, it’s not as great to me. I guess sometimes in the beauty industry we have to say goodbye to some of our favorites and let them go. C’est la vie! But, Bath and Body Works, if you’re reading this, I’d be happy to purchase any leftovers you have in your warehouse. Just Sayin’.

Sleep Lavender and Chamomile Body Wash and Luxury Bath by Bath & Body Works

Sleep Lavender Chamomile Body Wash and Luxury Bath, available at Bath & Body Works for $13 and $16, respectively.
Sleep Lavender Chamomile Body Wash and Luxury Bath, available at Bath & Body Works for $13 and $16, respectively.

Admittedly, this is constantly in my bathroom. You may have figured by now that I have a lavender obsession, and it’s borderline crazy. I know. I love this line, the body wash is lovely and foamy, and the luxury bath is milky and moisturizing. The luxury bath makes the largest, most fun bubbles, too. It really is luxurious. I highly recommend it for a nice relaxing bath, as lavender has the ability to calm and relax you. However, if you would rather a different version of this, Bath & Body Works also has Lavender Vanilla within its Sleep line. Since the Lavender Chamomile stays in my rotation, it’s safe to assume I’ll be repurchasing these again very soon.

3-D White Multi Care Whitening Rinse and 3-D White Luxe Multi Care Whitening Rinse by Crest

Crest 2

I figured this would go under body care because, well, teeth are part of the body, and who doesn’t want beautiful white teeth?! As you can tell, I go through a decent amount of mouthwash, and this line from Crest is my favorite. It contains baking soda (which you cannot taste!) so it really gets into the spaces between the teeth for deep rinsing and whitening. You can actually see it foaming in the little crevices of your mouth and between your teeth. Sorry if that’s a little graphic or gross, but it’s true. It’s one of the things I love about this product – I feel like I can SEE it working. I have noticed that my teeth are getting whiter as a result of this product, but it’s not a super bleaching situation. If that’s what you are looking for, you’re better off using the Crest Whitestrips or visiting a Dentist for a professional whitening. But, this tastes lovely and super minty – not peppermint, but real mint! I didn’t find a difference between the regular and the luxe formula here. Either way, it’s a win if you’re int he market for a new mouthwash.The price varies depending on size, but these run anywhere from $3-$8 at any drugstore. I’ve already purchased another one of these!

ProHealth Clinical Mouthwash by Crest

Crest Pro-Health Clinical Mouthwash, available at drugstores, and varies in price depending on size. $3-$8
Crest Pro-Health Clinical Mouthwash, available at drugstores, and varies in price depending on size. $3-$8

Obviously, I use a lot of mouthwash — twice daily! I picked up this one thinking I was grabbing the 3-D White formula, and by the time I got home and realized it, I didn’t want to go return it. This one claims to be Crest’s “most advanced rinse ever.” While that may be true, I preferred the 3-D White formula. They’re very very close in formula by feel, but from what I observed, I believe this one is more targeted at gum issues (i.e. gingivitis) and plaque, whereas the 3-D white focuses more on whitening and combating plaque. I suppose your choice would depend on which issue you would like to target.

Well, that’s a wrap for the body care empties! It’s approaching winter now, so I’ll leave you with some tips to avoid super dry winter skin.

  • Avoid super hot showers and baths (hot water tends to dry out skin), use warm water
  • Close your bathroom door when showering or bathing to lock in steam/moisture
  • Exfoliate with gentle exfoliators — NO gritty scrubbing!
  • Add coconut oil or jojoba oil to your bath for extra moisture
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize immediately after patting skin dry
  • Avoid products with alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • Choose creams or ointments over lotions (i.e. body butters)
  • Use a humidifier, if necessary
  • Use a quality lip balm

Hope you’ve enjoyed this Empties Post! Stay tuned for more! We still have two more installments to go in this series!

Stay Glittery, Beauties!

xoxo,

Candice

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