July 11, 2017

Going Natural!

Spring and early summer has left me battling allergies, and the constantly changing weather isn’t helping it either!  I hate calling doctors, I just don’t want them to prescribe any more medications, there is absolutely no more room in my pill-box for any new ones.  So I took it upon myself to monitor and change some of the products I use daily.  It was my intent to replace items that I normally use with natural and/or organic products. Since it was my watery eyes, constant sneezing, and a runny nose that were the problems, I’d start with replacing my soaps, add calming oils to my nightly ritual, and try aromatherapy shower tablets to help me breath.  Earlier this year Reverie Farms of Argyle, Texas sent me two of their natural and organic soap products, I hadn’t tried them yet, so I brought them out and started.  Daily I used the Sensitive Shea Bar Soap and the Peppermint Organic Foaming Soap.  I have sensitive skin and was pleased that I had no adverse reaction to the Sensitive Shea Bar Soap, it left my skin super soft, and moisturized,  without the use of chemicals. The Peppermint Organic Foaming Soap worked beautifully as a hand soap.  I love that the soap not only cleansed my hands, it smelled delicious, and left my hands soft and moist.

The other products I introduced into my daily self-care were the Aura Cacia Purifying Eucalyptus Aromatherapy Shower Tablets and the Relaxing Lavender  Shower Tablets.  

Found the scent not strong, but medicinal.


Lavender scent shower tablet was lovely!

The product was rather expensive for not accomplishing what I wanted it to do, relieve some of the congestion and aid in easier breathing, it also bombed out as a shower experience.  You need to know if you use a shower tablet the aroma quickly dissipates into the air and that’s all it does.  Finally I put a towel over my head tried to absorb the aroma of the relaxing lavender tablet, the aroma was good, but it quickly disappeared.  I did not realize any relief from these products.  

Even though I felt confident in what I was attempting to accomplish, relief from allergies, it did me no good!  I finally went to my doctor who explained that any medication used to treat allergies would not affect any of the medication I was taking.  

May 23, 2017


No sooner had I posted an April Birchbox review on May 2nd, another box was at my door.   Taking a quick glance at the contents of this box, and recognizing my affection for two of the brands, I immediately went to work.  Below are the results of the products I tested.

Derma e

Microdermabrasion Scrub|Full-Size, $32.50

The sample size weighed 1/2 oz., enough for 1 and 1/2 applications (I have a large face). The scrubbing beads are finer than most microdermabrasion scrubs, yet  worked as well as the more granular products I have tried.  The scrub left my skin with a glow and smooth appearance, the same results achieved using pricier products.  

Living Proof

Perfect hair Day® (PHD) In-Shower Styler|Full-Size, $24

This is a new Living Proof  product that you apply in the shower after you shampoo and condition.  You liberally apply the product from roots to ends and quickly rinse.  This product is formulated for air-dried hair styles. Products are being introduced often for this type of style and I have yet to try one that achieves the same tousled look that should be rendered.  Air drying your hair is a great way to cut down on time blow drying and exposure to the drying effects of blow drying your hair. This product did absolutely nothing for my hair.  I read some of the given suggestions to braid or put your hair in a bun if you do not have wavy hair.  Well, I do put my hair in a bun when I want air-dried tousled hair and I don’t have to use any product to get it, or maybe the 1 fluid ounce sample was not enough to cover the length of my hair.  

Lord & Berry

Line/Shade Eye Pencil-Black|Full-Size, $19

This is a highly pigmented eyeliner that was easy to apply (no drag), looked sharp, but then the product smudged under my eyes or I wiped my eyes and ruined the look.  I’ve never been a fan of eye pencils, yet this brand that I never heard of, before it arrived, sells quite a selection of eye pencils which I probably will look into.  

Manna Kadar Cosmetics

Glo Illuminator|Full-Size, $29

Glo Illuminator shimmer lotion can be mixed with foundation or worn alone, on face and/or body!  I applied this product on my face and body(well my arm) and there was no shine or glow on me!  I re-applied the product and did not notice any difference.  It is advertised for mature and dry skin, that would be me!  I am accustomed and in love with the Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer and have found this works best for me, not only in appearance but financially.  The Glo Illuminizer is $29/oz, while the Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer  is $26/ 1.5 oz.  


Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray|Full-Size, $22-$24

These are directions on how to use this product according to Oribe: “Shake. Spray on wet or dry hair. Tousle to taste and let dry in the St. Tropez air.”  I followed the directions both ways to a “t” without traveling to St. Tropez!  My hair looked magnificent, if I say so myself. I haven’t been as enthused with a product, since I picked up the   Gloss Chap Stick Rexall Drug in South Station, decades ago!  

I’m getting extremely impatient with this Birchbox subscription service.  My online profile would suggest that many of the products that do not receive raving reviews never did fit my product preference profile, yet still are sent in my boxes.  Tonight, I did email Birchbox and hopefully they will address the issue, and I will start to receive products and brands  that are of interest to me and my readers.   



May 2, 2017


I recently received my second box from BIRCHBOX, the health and beauty product subscription service.  This month’s box is a plain brown box with plain writing on it, plain and unattractive.  Inside the box, it screamed  Lily Pulitzer, pastel beach/island life motif.  I don’t usually purchase things for the packaging, but after using the products sent to me this month, I’m beginning to rethink the value of this service!

What was in my box?  Not all boxes are alike, it depends on your preferences and whether you paid more for the curated box, which I did not!  So here goes:

amika Nourishing Mask/.7 fl. oz sample

All the ingredients in this hair mask suggested to me that it would have a positive effect on my dry hair.  Sadly, the sample was not barely enough to cover my hair.  I did leave it on for more than the suggested 10 minutes.  I cannot discern whether or not the product did not work, due to ingredients or insufficient amount of product.  It did not change the appearance or feel of my hair when dried.   Based on my experience, I probably would not purchase this product.

English Laundry Noting Hill Femme

There was a rather strong scent of bergamot, of which I am not a fan.  It is advertised as a flowery scent, but, you will have to judge if you dare!  I didn’t like it!

The Beauty Crop GRLPWR Lips Liquid Lipstick in Imma Bawse

Not a full size liquid lipstick, but enough to use for more than a week everyday!  This lipstick is a deep rich berry color that stayed on for hours.  Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of the liquid lipstick due the drying nature of the ones I have tried, but I am extremely impressed with this product’s ingredients.  It is enriched with shea butter and vitamin E, that is probably why my lips didn’t dry out!

Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm/.33 fl oz

I’m always on the hunt for the perfect moisturizer, and I might have scored here!  This fortifying face balm is 100% natural, it smells divine, is lightweight, fast absorbing, matte finish, and just makes my face look better!  I had never heard of this product before, so I visited their website and will purchase their skin trial kit, I will update!

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream-Lavender/.75 fl oz

Great shaving cream product, aromatic, and leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.  The biggest downfall of this product is the price.  A 5oz container costs $16 vs my Gillette Venus Shaving Gel which costs $3.00 for 7oz.  I have no complaints with my shaving gel.  I do like the lavender fragrance of the Whish product, but my Gillette shaving gel does the job, and I like their scent as well!  I will continue my relationship with the Gillette Venus Shaving Gel.

SHOW Beauty Our Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner/.33 fl oz of each

I tried the single pouch of shampoo & conditioner that boasts hair with moisture and shine.  There is nothing else to say about the combo/sample other than, the one time I used it, I really liked the results.

I think you can sense the disappointment I have with my BIRCHBOX subscription.  It is telling when you are happier anticipating the arrival of the box than the samples that have arrived.  I understood completely that I would be receiving samples of products, but can’t help but notice, these are the same samples you can get at the cosmetic counters of department stores and Sephora.  From now on, if BIRCHBOX doesn’t step up their game, all they will be good for is introducing me to products I may not be familiar with, so I’ll extract any useful information I can from the samples sent. 


April 18, 2017

Made in the Shade!

Growing up close to the beach, I spent summer vacations taking swimming lessons every day. Rain or shine, my friends and I headed to the beach to swim, eat lunch on the sand, and hang out!  Not once in all the years I spent at the beach, did I ever apply sunscreen.  I don’t remember hearing about sunscreen, but I do remember the Coppertone commercials and according to my mother, I didn’t need it, I had Mediterranean skin.  When I got older and realized that I could cut down on tanning time by covering a record album with tin foil. I adopted the habit of using a foil covered record album as a reflector.  Another genius  plan I adopted was purchasing baby oil and iodine mixed together.  I would generously slather on this concoction of  aromatic magic lotion and wait and bake until the golden goddess results appeared!  


Unfortunately, as I got older, I did notice that more products were advertised to protect you from the sun.  Yet,  I never paid attention to the advertisements and continued to use oil to tan, without any sun protection factor (SPF).  As time marched on I continued to spend weekends at the beach and even spent my honeymoon on a tropical island!  I love the beach and swimming in salt water!  Even though I am a teacher and have more discretionary time during the summer, my beach time is now limited mainly to walking early mornings or early evening, not laying in the suns direct rays! 

Well, a few weeks ago I visited a dermatologist with a skin complaint which I swore would be a result of the rheumatoid arthritis.  As with any complaint I  have, I automatically assign blame to RA. The dog ran away; we are out of milk; or, being late for work!(RA may have something to do with this!)  But it certainly was a surprise when my biopsy results came back with a diagnosis of solar keratosis.  So, no big deal I think, I’m being treated for solar keratoses, I’m told that; “This is very common for people in this area and age bracket.”  The symptoms, scaly lesions are the result of long-term sun exposure and sun damage, common on fair-skinned people, this made sense to me!  What is most upsetting is this was preventable!  So now, in addition to seeing my  dermatologist more often, I will  follow rigorous preventative measures, to ensure I don’t further damage my skin.

What is most upsetting to me now, is the fact that the information was available decades ago on how to protect myself from the sun.  For whatever reason, I decided this message did not apply to me, and now I have another health concern to deal with.   

So now I would like to share some of the preventative measures that were explained to me. These suggestions may be of some help to you in preventing skin cancer and premature aging. 

Seek shade/cover up when the sun’s rays are the strongest, 10 am to 2 pm.

Wear Sun Protection Factor (SPF)/sunscreen of 30 or higher on exposed skin, and make sure that your sunscreen protects against UVA rays (cause premature aging/wrinkles and dark spots) and UVB rays (they burn your skin).  

Wear sunglasses and any hat as part of your summer uniform.

Avoid ultraviolet light tanning beds.

Use common sense!

I for one will continue to go to the beach. Instead of sitting in the direct rays of sun, I will be comfortably seated, reading my books, under a very large umbrella.

April 4, 2017


In a previous blog post, Cold Weather Skincare Update!   I shared my impressions of the Sephora Mask Products that I used. I felt that all the products lived up to their intended purpose, and were reasonably priced.  Recently, I came upon some great new products that are considerably less expensive and just as effective or better, by Daylogic and Yes. Daylogic, is a personal care and beauty product line exclusively available at Rite Aid  for a price of $2.99 per application. What a bargain? I selected four to try.  What impressed me most about the product was the packaging, the easy readability, and easy to locate information that would prompt you to purchase the product was front and center.  All individual packets are labeled on top with the amount of time needed for results.  Packing is also clearly labeled with the type of mask it is, what the mask will do, and what it contains and does not contain.  For the price, I had nothing to lose!  I also purchased two Yes masks that I had read about for the same price, these are my impressions of the six products I’ve purchased repeatedly over the previous month!

 Daylogic Rejuvenate Facial Creme Mask

Onto a clean face, apply a thin, even, layer of the mask onto your face avoiding eyes and lips. Leave mask on for 15 minutes (I left it on longer, it felt good!), then rinse with water.  The mask is creamy and has a slight pleasant scent.  I have combination dry skin, I felt the mask was moisturizing and left my smooth and refreshed.  Definitely worth the $2.99.

Daylogic Glow Facial Peel Off Mask 

This mask is intended to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, as well as removing excess dirt and oil with purifying tea tree extract, revealing a more refined complexion.  I really don’t know the difference between tea tree extract or tea tree oil, I only know that this facial peel is sulfate, paraben & artificial dye free, but it is not a natural product.  I do know that masks and other products that contain tea tree oil that I have read about, are considerably more expensive than this product.  I do know that I had no adverse reaction from using this product on my extremely sensitive skin.  This clear gel, that I sparingly applied, peeled off 20+ minutes later left my skin smooth and refreshed.  

Daylogic Bright Eyes Gel Eye Mask

Unlike the Sephora eye/lip paper masks, the Daylogic product is a gel patch that was much easier to apply, and it was not messy in any way!  There is a slight pleasant scent to this mask even though it is labeled as fragrance free.  When the mask was removed, I was pleasantly surprised with positive results, it definitely diminished my dark circles around my eyes.  I use this mask at least twice per week.

Daylogic Illuminate Gel Eye Mask

The gel eye mask magically reduces under eye puffiness.  I use this product on the occasions of the morning after a difficult time staying asleep due to pain.  It could be a combination of starting as such a distressed point that this product is so remarkable or that it just is, you be the judge!


Yes to Coconut Hydrate & Restore Paper Mask & Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Detoxifying       Charcoal Paper Mask

Paper masks are not my favorite, but the reasonable price and the enticement of detoxifying my skin with charcoal was reason enough to give the Yes masks a whirl!  I started off with the coconut ultra hydrating paper mask because I was particularly dry that day.  I was not impressed with the coconut hydrate mask, it began to feel uncomfortable within minutes, was not positioned properly on my face, it was an annoying experience.  I didn’t keep it on my face long enough to have an opinion about the mask!  A few days later I read/reread the directions on the Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Detoxifying Charcoal Paper Mask before the application.  I felt the tingling, but left the mask on.  I was not distracted by the tingling feeling because I carefully applied the mask, and before I knew it, the tingling subsided.  When the mask was removed I was left with a ruddy complexion and unimpressed with both of these products.

I have no regrets trying these new products!  I know I’ll probably never purchase another Yes mask, but I do love their cucumber soothing hypoallergenic facial wipes. Daylogic gel masks will be in my refrigerator, ready for my weekly indulgences.  It is always exciting trying new products, especially when there is a minimal investment.  Trying new product allows you to appreciate the quality of the products you currently use or add new favorites to your arsenal of besties!