Elba Naturals: N.2 Anti-Acne/Blemish Gel Treatment #Review #ElbaNaturals

When I was in High School, I rarely had any breakouts, so I thought if I got through this stage acne free, I would be safe for life. Wrong! Around my mid 20’s, I started to get breakouts and some pretty bad ones. I changed my diet, drank more water and nothing seemed to do the trick. I then changed my make-up, washed my face more often and even changed my skin care routine and the pimples were just laughing at me. I noticed my acne breakouts fluctuated with stress and some were even connected to medications I was taking. I seized taking certain prescriptions and that help alleviate some of the worse almost cystic-like acne, but I still got breakouts here and there, so I started looking for acne treatments that could help. That ended up being a trip down the longest rabbit hole I have ever encountered! Some spot treatments actually caused more pore blockage while others were so harsh, that I would peel around any healthy skin and the pimple itself would sometimes bleed, so I graduated from having a bump to now having a bump with a scab. Scabby face is not my idea of winning especially when you get one that likes to ooze. Here I was in my mid 20s and had a face of a 13 year old. Not my idea of fun, so I started really reading ingredients and found that 25% of the OTC products work, while 75% my pimples got the last laugh.

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Remarkably, the natural route was the one I never planned on taking but when you are desperate, you will try not only homemade concoctions in addition to anything that resembles them. I found that many of the more natural products that depend on tree oils to extracts derived from plants, tended to work as a prevention measure. I could apply the product and nip most breakouts before they happened.

Elba Naturals is a company that offers a small array of skin care products that is focused on targeting problem areas from aging skin, acne treatment, to eye creams and micro-abrasion. Elba Naturals main goal is finding natural and organic ingredients that are kinder and more gentle to the skin but remain effective. Like the N.2 Anti-acne and blemish solution, which is made up of just 13 ingredients!

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Ingredients (as listed on the website):
(98% Naturally Derived/72% Organic) Ingredients: Deionized Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, Arginine, Wildcrafted Salix Lucida (Salicylic Acid/Willow Bark), Colloidal Silver, Eugenia Caryophyllata (Clove Essential Oil), Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Organic Aloe Barbardensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Extract), Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelagonium Gravoleons (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract).

Retail Price Point: Currently sold-out on Amazon, but when in stock one 1 ounce bottle retails for $35.00.

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Verdict:

The directions state to apply the product twice a day for best results, so I substituted the Elba Naturals N.2 Acne product as my spot and prevention treatment. I used nothing else to fight my acne, like no washes with salicylic acid or anything else that would sway the results. When I used the product in the day time, I also tested to see how it works under make-up because this is where I usually find I am more vulnerable when it comes to breaking out. Sunscreens tend to be that friend that comes with a temperament because as much as it is needed to protect my skin, it tends to be the offender when it comes to causing my skin to get clogged pores. I won’t go out without sunscreen, so I have to deal with the results. I applied my skin care products and the Elba Naturals Acne gel treatment to areas I am prone to breakouts, the chin, side of my face and above my eyebrows. I then applied all my skin care products and cosmetics like usual. No issues with application were experienced and my foundation applied without any beading up problems or anything. Through out the day, everything stayed as it did and I was happy that the Elba Natural N.2 acne product was easy to incorporate into my beauty routine. I experienced zero breakouts in my problem areas days after and I continued to use it. I found the Elba Naturals Acne gel treatment to work as well (and even nicer) than my chemical filled counterparts. What I found to be a welcoming sight, was zero peeling of the skin, both from any pimple to the healthy skin around it. It just did not dehydrate my skin like some of the spot treatments on the market tend to do so. The product may be higher in price, as mine is around $10 for a spot treatment but the gel applies smoothly and a very thin film is all that is needed, meaning this product will last longer than a tube of equal size. The gel comes in a brown tinted bottle to help keep the key ingredients effective and because it’s a gel that dries clear, I am not highlighting my acne blemishes with a white cream that even though says dries transparent on the tube…..it never really does. So, Elba Naturals not only was kinder and effective, but it actually works really well at preventing and I prefer avoiding a pimple than trying to just find a solution at treating every bump. I’m all about having the bumps not happen in the first place!

Connect with Elba Naturals at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Elba Naturals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Zakia’s Morocco: Moroccan Black Soap & Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder Reviews & Giveaway #ZakiasMorocco

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I received two products from Zakia’s Morocco and when I was accepted into the campaign, I decided to check out their website…….I was stunned at all the products and how well presented the site is. You have a skin issue, they have the products for you. Even though I was unfamiliar with some of the active ingredients, I quickly was able to educate myself and gain some knowledge about what an ingredient provides, application to long term benefits. I like companies that have an “open book” policy and allow the consumer to learn because I appreciate that, versus just being told, “here is a special potion in a jar and just apply it”. The latter always has no evidence supporting the ingredients and is usually a costly lesson to your skin and your wallet. So, I admit I started liking Zakia’s Morocco before anything had even arrived.

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Zakia’s Morocco, Moroccan Black Soap with Argan Oil-

I looked at the jar and it’s a dark colored solution that is more a very dark brown but the hue is maybe 2 shades lighter before black. Not the hue you associate with soap and then I thought about charcoal and again I was wrong! I open the jar and the scent is earthy but not unpleasant. I then realize after reading that the product is made with an olive pulp that is sometimes called “olive pumice”. The pulp is classified as a by-product, meaning it’s the left-over from production and on most times it’s olive oil. Now, the color makes sense! When you produce olive oil, the pulp left is about 50 to 70 percent and some manufactures will then produce a lesser quality oil on the second press or find a second use elsewhere. The olive pulp is rich in antioxidants and nutrients (lipids, oleic acid to Vitamin E), so it’s not in any way just trying to find a use for left-overs. These left-overs will not only feed your skin but are gentle enough to be used for all skin types. I can see why the pulp is used and makes for a great emollient and for exfoliating applications. Zakia’s Morocco then takes this rich ingredient and adds Argan oil and a little salt and it’s really simply created but beneficial.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): Potassium Olivate, Aqua, Sodium, Potassium Hydroxyde, and Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Argan Oil)

Retail Price Point: $24.99 for a jar that has a net weight of 8.82 ounces.

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Verdict:
I used the soap two times a week for a period of 3.5 weeks. It’s gentle and feels good on the skin once you add a little bit of water and you work the lather up between your hands, before applying it to your skin. The Moroccan Black Soap by Zakia’s Morocco can be applied to your face and body, so great for the back and chest area. The soap did not ever over dry or cause patchy areas, it remains gentle but effective because my skin was soft and clean. My feet start getting dry being in sandals during warmer weather and the pool’s chlorine water tends to exasperate it but once I started using the soap on my feet, it not only felt nice but left my skin soft and helped it retain moisture. Even my nail’s cuticle improved. You use small amounts and it’s really a nicer soap for your skin that enriches it but also cleanses it.

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Zakia’s Morocco, Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder-

The Atlas Mountain produces a clay that you have probably heard of called Ghassoul or Rhassoul. The clay is rich in minerals that help with skin’s circulation, texture to cleansing but without pulling moisture. The clay actually encourages moisture to build and this is why you see it in many facial masks. The Ghassoul Clay from Zakia’s Morocco, comes in powder form, which I love. I adore this form of application because I don’t have to worry about the product drying out and I can add it to other ingredients and make my own customized mask. The clay powder is not limited to the face, but you can spot treat blemishes to even areas of the body. Ghassoul Clay helps rejuvenate the skin and I always like how gentle it is at removing dead skin cells to build-up, and it’s irritation free. You can also treat your hair by making a loose putty consistency and it will help you regain luster back and also re-balance your scalps health. Things like an over-dry scalp to dandruff tend to correct themselves to even over production of oil, with Ghassoul Clay powder.

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Ingredients (as listed on the website): Moroccan Lava clay

Retail Price Point: $19.99 for an 8 ounce jar.

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Verdict-
Oh, I love it! Let me just get that out of the way because I already loved this clay before but you are giving it to me in powder form? So, I pay for the lava clay and that is it? I’m so there and I was able to use the clay to make my own facial masks to even giving my hands a little rejuvenation treatment. Being able to add other ingredients like oils to boost up the moisture for hands and feet (I even added a little to an avocado to produce a mask) is not something that can be done with other products.  I could use this one product to help my skin’s needs and to suit my “going on right now” issues like a blemish on my nose!  You rarely find the clay in powder form and I see it like when you buy herbs/spices for your kitchen, the pure product alone will always beat any (all salt) mix that is advertised as an all-in-one product. No fillers or anything else with Zakia’s Morocco Ghassoul Clay powder and finally being able to make my own masks to fit my needs no matter the problem, weather, stress level, is something I seek!  You can use it as a spot treatment too for pimples, blackheads, or any surprises you wake up!

!!!Giveaway Alert!!!

Win a gift card to Zakia’s Morocco for $50 by clicking here .  Then click below and start making a list!  Good luck!!

 

Find the time and please visit Zakia’s Morocco and you will love all the products they have to offer:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Zakia’s Morocco.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trilane: Retinol + Vitamin C Anti-Aging Moisturizer #Review #Trilane

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Trilane is part of Healthy Directions LLC., which has an extensive line of serums, moisturizers to battle all your anti-aging needs.

I was sent a bottle of their 100% Natural Retinol and Vitamin C moisturizer. The Trilane line reflects several acting agents and the ones that stood the most, was Olive Squalane and Jojoba Esters. The rest of the ingredients are familiar from Pomegranate, Cucumber, Licorice and so forth.

  • Olive Squalane-
    Upon researching what makes this ingredient different and more powerful, I discovered that it is really just an emollient. It is also a Vegan friendly alternative as Shark Squalane is derived from their liver. I’m not a vegetarian, but the latter is not exactly something I want to purchase and much less apply to my skin…..no matter the claims. Olive Squalane provides a lightly formulated oil like substance that is rich in lipids. Much like olive oil when it comes to the beneficial properties, but you have some differences that can be felt in how the final product feels and applies. It’s thinner and provides a rich barrier, something you want to seek out because you want a moisturizer that applies thin and absorbs quickly, but leaves no oily slick behind. I tried seeing if Squalane as an individual source differed greatly when it came to nutritional properties, like is it more potent (percentage wise) but could not allocate any clinical information stating so. After pages and pages, I could only find that it penetrates (absorbs) into the skin quickly at a rate of 2MM per second when the agent is used singularly (by itself). So, it gives you an idea on why it was added to this moisturizer!

 

  • Jojoba Esters-
    Jojoba is always identified as an oil and it’s really technically a wax, but still an emollient. You have a wax that has been boiled down to produce a purer and more intensified solution. Jojoba is rich in fatty acids, so you not only get improvement in how a product applies but a richer and more nutritional formula. Due to Jojoba being close to the properties found in human sebum, you can see why it’s so “skin friendly”.

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Retail Price Point: $42.53 via Amazon, but make sure to scroll down and use the code to get a discount!  The product retails for $44.99 (with Auto-ship) via the website.

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Verdict:
The Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C anti-aging moisturizer, is simple when it comes to the properties that make-it up, so I was looking forward in trying a product that can cause less interactions, but still provide results. I tried the product for a period of 2 weeks and stopped using any alternate Vitamin C and Retinol product. I figure this was a 2-in-1 product, so let us see how it does on it’s own. While I was very happy with the moisturizer and how well it applied, distributed and absorbed, I did find I was not satisfied with the Retinol level. I have been using OTC products with 2.5% and none was declared on the package from Healthy Directions, but I did feel I needed to amp it up and decided to incorporate back my serum (containing Retinol) back by the 2.5 week point. Then I did get what I felt a better edge on keeping any fine lines at bay and I can say the Trilane line does deliver a lot of moisture and I say this again, because it put up with the weather swings we have been experiencing in Southern California. It’s been cloudy and in the 60’s to then the 80’s three days later! Trilane kept my skin’s temperaments at bay because it likes to misbehave when the weather swings like this.

Connect with Trilane and their products at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Trilane (Healthy Directions).  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

My KonjacSponge: Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sponge #Review #KonjacSponge

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My Konjac Sponge is a company that specializes in providing several different sponges, which fit the different needs and even skin problems a person may be suffering from. I have occasional acne breakouts and my motto is to always treat for blemishes that may occur before actually getting a full blown break-out. This means I keep a mild prevention regimen going when it comes to chemicals, so I don’t nuke my face when that would be overkill.

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Konjac sponges have become more prominent and are now carried at the drug-store level to luxury stores stores and the prices vary for the same active ingredients. Construction of the sponge is critical because how tightly the root is packed in, to size and texture make a difference. I have had sponges never breakdown and need to be tossed because they aged and some sponges started to disintegrate within the first week of use. A good sponge should be able to last a month’s time and to avoid issues such as contamination and germs, it should be disposed no matter how intact it remains once it reaches the time period (i.e. expiration). So, when pricing I always see the Konjac sponges as a supply of 60-Days (of uses). The sponge should last and be workable, meaning I’m not tying to use a disfigured nub to wash my face correctly on day 20. I try to stay around the $10 range and will go up to $12 if the product’s size is larger, performs better, and so forth.

Retail Price Point: $10.00 for one large sized sponge via Amazon

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Verdict:
The “My Konjac Sponge” company has so far the largest sponge in size that I have so far experienced. I love the “drop” shape and again, it’s big for just $10 bucks. It fits my budget and that breaks down to a little as $0.33 a day (at 30 days) or $0.16 (at 60 days), per use and I sometimes use it twice a day, so that extends my savings. Effectiveness in the end is what matters! I was sent the Charcoal version from the company and in their description, they state their charcoal is derived from bamboo extract. I used the sponge and was pleased with the amount of exfoliation and the texture of the product against my skin.  The charcoal did not over dry my skin but did it’s job at preventing acne/blemish from showing up. You are left with a nice clean surface after rinsing. The sponge dries well too and I store mine suspended from a hook and allow it to always air dry. I’m at the 3-week mark and the sponge is still kicking with just a few frays along the edge reflecting everyday use. 90% intact and I am happy with how well the product performed and much happier that I can get it for the price I want.

Connect with “My Konjac Sponge” and find the Konjac that is right for you at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from My Konjac Sponge Company.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Chrislie Formulations: Luv2kiss™ Invisible Lip Liner #Review #Luv2Kiss

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Being a make-up junkie (yes, I finally admit it but I’m not seeking help 🙂 ) means that I will try mostly every product line out there to see what they have to offer. Brand names are just like with clothing, quality does not mean it will match the price tag! I have had $15 nail polish chip within 24 hours all because I looked at it funny, while the $0.99 drug store polish, puts up with me baking, gardening, and cleaning and just loses a little shine. I try to remain practical because I just don’t have the time or the energy to start faux sculpting my face with the contouring trend being so hot right now, even though all my friends say they have never gone “all the way” with it! The newest trends also never equate they will stay or even provide you with a positive change. Change is good and welcoming but I don’t want to confuse a new look from what looks best.  With that in mind, I am open to trying what a brand has to offer, as long as the ingredients are not overly harsh.

Chrislie Formulations is based in my state of California and they are about bringing the hottest trends and colors at an affordable price. They also have classical colors and cosmetics, so they really fit the bill for anyone while not emptying your wallet of them. Chrislie Formulations focuses on quality products that are easy to use and effective, just like the Invisible Lip Liner they sent from their “Luv2Kiss” line.

I have oodles of liners and lip glosses but like in the kitchen, I keep using the same pot on most days! I would love to tell you I change it around but some liners I own I love the color but dislike how they apply, so I keep them for “just in case” purposes while using the same pinkish-peach color that wears well with the nude tones I use in both lipsticks and glosses. If I want a more intense look, I just add more liner and this may be because my lips is the last thing I address and that means at this point I am close to needing to head out the door soon. I need my last step regarding my lips to work and not be problematic like the lashes on my left-eye because they never play as nice as the lashes on my right eye.

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The Luv2Kiss liner I was already curious by what it calls itself, an Invisible liner. I wasn’t sure if it meant clear, close to one’s skin tone, or it just absorbed whatever color was going to be added. I had questions! I thankfully do not have lip lines/wrinkles where I have problems with bleeding but I am very picky when I use a red or darker color. I don’t even want the slightest smudge because on my fair skin, it will show up quickly and I don’t want to look in a mirror 2 hours later to find out I have been walking around looking sloppy!

Luv2Kiss also describes the Invisible liner as a primer pencil, which will keep the color isolated (in place) with no feathering or bleeding, plus will not accent any unwanted fine lines. Keeps your lipstick just like you left it and if I use an eye-shadow primer, why not add a lip one to my routine. I have to line anyways! The description of the product goes further into detail where your lip product will not budge past the liner even if you drink, eat or like the name says….kiss. Me likey!

Directions of Application: Just line the outside of your lips and the long-lasting, plus water-proof formula takes care of the rest. If you want to extend the wear of any lip product, you can apply a thin layer (using small strokes) to the entire lip area for effective staying power.

Ingredients (as listed on the website):
Cera Alba, Candelilla Cera, Ceresine, Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbic Acid, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, CI 77891.  Free of mineral oil, paraffin, preservatives, and animal-derived ingredients.

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Verdict:
I approach any product claims with common reasoning. I don’t expect to eat a juicy burger and still have lip stick on and not just that, I tend to remove any lip product before eating to avoid……..well, eating my lip product! Lipstick no matter the price tag is not something I think should be ingested more than we already do from wear. I have lip skin that tends to lean more towards the dry side and I know that can also alter how long any lip product remains vibrant, because my lips are just sucking the heck out them! With that logic in mind, I proceeded to first apply the product by lining the outside of my lips and I then applied on the lips themselves but only to places that have more contact (i.e. where color wears off quicker) like the outside edges and where my lips come in contact more. I give the lip liner a 5 out 5 for ease of application and more importantly, how beautifully the liner glided and applied to my lips.  I exfoliated my lips prior but had 2 spots that were not as smooth as the rest but no problem. The Luv2Kiss liner sort of worked like a concealer for lips and masked any imperfections by smoothing them out. That part I did not expect! Next, came the nude lipstick and this is a drug-store brand to see how well the product wears. I usually get 3 hours before needing a touch-up or just plain re-application prior to using the Luv2Kiss liner. This invisible liner left my lips looking the same as they did 15 minutes from when I did my lips. Not only did I get 3 hours but I could still go on without doing zilch! My lips also felt moist and the liner did not over dry the edges of my lips or the delicate skin that was just exfoliated. I fear waterproof products because mascaras of this kind dehydrate my lashes but this liner did not have the same reaction on my lips. I love that! The liner worked as a barrier and extender in my book, plus that means I only need ONE liner to do the job of all others, and it will always match and play nice with any color of lip stain, lipstick, balm, lip gloss, or whatever I decide to wear that day. I can also play and create lip colors (enhancers) like before by using a little shimmer from my eye-shadows and still get a good amount of wear. Sort of makes investing time on how my lips look so worth it!

Retail Price Point: An affordable $9.99 via Chrislie Formulations website for a pencil with a Net Weight of 0.32 oz (0.9 g); Item No. 2011

Connect with Chrislie Formulations and all their Beauty product lines at:

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Chrislie Formulations/Luv2kiss™.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Body Merry: Retinol Surge Moisturizer #Review #BodyMerry

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Body Merry has been a guest over here in the past and always welcomed! Like you don’t need to call before you arrive type of guest 🙂 and it’s because I really enjoy using their products. They work and who doesn’t like using stuff that shows results because my beauty regimen is not just for fun……I’m sort of on the run from the tick-tock clock of time. I enjoy the memories with people and experiences, just don’t wrinkle me!

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I was sent Body Merry’s Retinol Surge Moisturizer. It’s an all-in-one product that can be used by itself as a last layer application or you can amp your routine by using a serum and then a thin layer of Body Merry’s Surge Moisturizer. The product offers:

  • 2.5% Retinol in a cream form
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B5
  • Green Tea

Ingredients (as listed on website): Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Sunflower Oil, Palm Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Jojoba Oil, Wildcrafted Green Tea, Wildcrafted Propolis, Shea Butter, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.

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The moisturizer really covers everything from giving you an instant boost from the green tea, uses Aloe Vera versus water as it’s base and you have nourishing agents like Shea Butter, Jojoba oil and Vitamin E. Body Merry goes one step further by making sure their Hyaluronic acid is derived from plants and let us not forget the major player here, the 2.5% percentage of retinol. The product is all packed in a pump action bottle, so no air, light or even bacteria can easily come in contact. That to me is insurance on your purchase!

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Application:
A one pump serving was enough for me to cover the areas I wanted to treat on my face because I have combination skin and that means some areas get more moisturizer than others. I then had enough to treat my neck and chest area because people tend to over focus on the face when the rest of your body can also show aging. I applied the product under make-up and never had issues of my foundation not looking right hours later or even problems with blending. The acids in the moisturizer keep everything in check. Make sure to use SPF (even though you should already be) because retinol products may make skin sensitive to the sun, plus why damage the skin you are trying to take care of.

Retail Price Point: $23.49 via Amazon or $24.99 via their website for a generous 3.4 fluid ounce bottle.

Verdict:
Like with all of Body Merry’s products so far, I am happy with the results and the price point. I got tired of OTC products not declaring the percentage of retinol in their products and just taking their word that there was even a significant amount to make a difference. I might as well squeeze a bottle down the sink if it’s not going to work! With Body Merry products, everything is forthcoming and no proprietary blends to hide behind. Body Merry tells you what you are getting, how it’s going to work and what to expect, plus goes beyond and adds a satisfaction guarantee. No hassles and I like exchanges like that because the beauty world should not be complicated. We all want to look our best, we all can’t afford and/or don’t want to undergo surgery, so we just want stuff that works. Body Merry’s stuff works and that is something I (and my skin) truly appreciates.

Connect with Body Merry at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Body Merry.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

InstaNatural: Dead Sea Mud Mask #Review #InstaNatural #DeadSeaMask

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InstaNatural is a company which features a large array of beauty products that range from serums, masks to products that target problem areas that suffer from stretch marks, scars to cellulite. You can get all your beauty needs satisfied with InstaNatural, as they have hair products to even supplements! If you sign-up on their site for the Club Discount, you get an instant 15% off. Need to save more? Order $25 worth of beauty products that are guaranteed to work, as they all covered by the InstaNatural 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Money Back Guarantee and get free shipping. Nothing to lose than some fine lines, blemishes and better skin for 2015!

 

InstaNatural: Dead Sea Mud Mask

This product is part of their Body Detoxifiers collection. The mask is 100% Natural and infused with minerals. The product serves two purposes, one to detoxify and secondly, to purify:

  • Pure Dead Sea Mud
  • Organic Shea Butter
  • Organic Jojoba Oil
  • Organic Aloe Vera Juice
  • Organic Calendula Oil
  • Hickory Bark Extract
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • All products at InstaNatural are made in the USA and never animal tested

 

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Retail Price Point: $25.77 for a quantity of 16 ounces in a resealable tub (jar)

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Application- I started by washing my face with mild soap or a simple face wash. I then applied a thin layer of mud mask. If applying on the face, avoid the eye and lip areas and any areas you may be sensitive to over-drying. I left the mask on for 20 minutes, however the directions state for 10 to 15 minutes until dry. I sometimes find some mud based masks work well after you shower, so I would apply and then use the water to wash my hands and just literally walk out with the mask on my face until 20 minutes would lapse. It’s my way of multi-tasking! You use warm water to gently remove the mask from the skin and I use wet paper towels for the edges I can’t get to (i.e. nose corners, along the hair line, ect.). This makes sure I do not stain any of our face towels. You then pat dry with a clean cloth and apply a good moisturizer to start nourishing the skin. I read on InstaNatural’s site, that they do not recommend using the Dead Sea Mud Mask more than once a week……..doesn’t get easier when it comes to skin care regimens!

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What to Expect- To avoid over-dryness, I made sure to stick to the directions and used the mask once a week for a 4-week period (I’m still using it and now it’s a main stay and a must have). The first time after leaving the Dead Sea Mud Mask for 20 minutes, I was left with a nice clean surface that was not over dry but had a nice clean sheen. I applied their retinol based moisturizer soon after to make sure I was nourishing my skin’s surface. As the days passed, I noticed my skin continuing to purge (i.e. clogged pores) and my pores looked and felt less (could not feel a bump) congested. On the second week of application, the main difference was that I did not experience any break-outs, which is a little odd for me. I always have a small pimple or little blackhead that is trying to become more than what it really is but I admit that I pick at them, so they get angry with me sometimes :). I had none and no irritations. It was easy to make this mud mask part of my “Sunday Face Clean” day. It’s the day that I try to make up for the week that I did not always have time to wash or primp my face like I wanted to. InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask let me reset the clock and pretend I was a good girl about my skincare routine. Pimples, acne, and any blackheads are a thing of the past and so little is needed to cover the surface of your skin. I also used it on my chest on a small blackhead that was indecisive about ruining my intro into 2015! Left it on for 15 minutes (sort of like a spot treatment) and overnight the redness diminished and it was nothing by day two. I also felt that my acne scars lightened and peeled at a quicker pace to reveal a nice skin’s surface that reflected no history of the blemish that resided there before! Easy to use and all the mask asks that you use it once a week……anyone can do that!

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Connect with InstaNatural and their large array of Beauty products at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from InstaNatural.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

EnvyDerm: Eyelash Enhancement and Conditioning Volume Mascara #EnvyDermEyes #Review

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Like many of us girls, the one thing we change next to nail polish more often, is our mascara. There is always a new formula, wand, volume promising, to even seasonal colors that just capture our eye. I have been guilty of telling myself that my mascara is reaching the 3-month mark of expiration, so it’s for a good cause and eye health that I should buy this new revolutionary tube that has been advertised so much (that I know the commercial). I have been burned by drugstore to fancy store and boutique-ish brands; so many tubes have been unkindly thrown into the trash. In my mind, the mascara science world should not be as complicated as the foundation universe. We want separation, a formula that does not flake or smear but creates nice smooth strokes that add volume. None of us want to look like a raccoon or if we do, it shall be a smoky eyed one and done on purpose! I finally grew so tired that I am guilty of buying mini sample sets filled with different brands in hopes of finding “the one” that will end this hunting game. I find it but then get the surprise that the formula changes to quick by aging in the tube before I even get 1/4 way down, or it’s temperamental and only wants cold weather and once the seasons changes, it betrays me!

In comes EnvyDerm, a cosmetic company that advertises their lines as “high performance”. They not only promise a good cosmetic look, but also deliver nourishment to lashes. So, it’s a multi-tasker formula that already went over and beyond what I expected or even dared to imagine. I just wanted my mascara to give me a faux perfect look but with time and regular use, my lashes may grow and make the look actually belong to me versus just lights and magic!

EnvyDerm enhances your lashes by making them look better, longer, and strengthening. Their patent serum boosts and repairs, plus it also promotes length and thicker lashes. The Lash Enhancement & Conditioning serum contains Hydrolyzed Keratin and Peptides, which help nourish and encourage positive results!

Ingredients (as listed on their site):
Formulated without: Prostaglandin, Parabens, Synthethic fragrance, Sulfates, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, GMOS, Tricolosan, Mineral Oils, Animal products.

PURIFIED WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, MYRISTOYL PENTAPEPTIDE-17, CERA ALBA (Beeswax), COPERNICIA CERIFERA (Carnauba) Wax, SUCROSE ACETATE ISOBUTYRATE , STEARIC ACID, GLYCERYL STEARATE, ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, VP/EICOSENE COPOLYMER, ADIPIC ACID/ DIETHYLENE GLYCOL/GLYCERIN CROSSPOLYMER, EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (Candellia) WAX, HYDROXYETHYLCELLULOSE, MEDICAGO SATIVA ( Alfalfa) EXTRACT, ARNICA MONTANA (Arnica) FLOWER EXTRACT, MEL (Honey) EXTRACT, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (Chamomille) FLOWER EXTRACT, ALGAE EXTRACT, SODIUM HYALURONATE, HYDROLYZED KERATIN, HYDROLYZED (MARINE) COLLAGEN, MYRISTORYL HEXAPEPTIDE-16, DIMETHICONE, TRIETHANOLAMINE, PHENOXYETHANOL, TRITICUM VULGARE (Wheat) GERM OIL, ORGANIC SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (Jojoba) SEED OIL, ORGANIC ARGANIA SPINOSA (Argan) EXTRACT OIL, ALLANTOIN, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE (Vitamin E), PANTHENOL (Vitamin B5), HYDROLYZED GLYCOSAMINOGLYCANS, URTICA DIOICA (Nettle) Extract, MICA. May contain: Iron Oxides (Cl 77492, Cl 77491, Cl 77499).

The ingredients almost reads like a list you find in a good moisturizer but this is about feeding your lashes versus your skin! I was happy so far with what I was seeing and reading.

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Ease of Application: The tube is a nice size and you get a generous 0.27 fluid ounces, Easy to open and the brush on the wand does separate and apply a fluid and even coat to my lashes. The directions are simple, you apply one coat and within one minute’s time, apply one more coat or more if desired. The product does build up nicely and you don’t get that “spider look” we fear when applying additional coats. I’m a 2.5 coats girl when it comes to application. One coat to cover and a second for volume, .5 to get corners and any places that need extra attention. My only negative is that the applicator (not the wand stick portion) tends to “boing” a bit and is not as solid and fixed in one place. The brush is soft and pliable, almost like soft rubber. I don’t like that bounce back but after three uses, I expected that slight movement and was able to learn to adjust around it. I attribute this to being kinder on lashes and it’s just a learning curve. The hourglass shape and bristles make up for this shortcoming alone!

Retail Price Point: $27.00 on Amazon and $29.00 via the site (with free domestic shipping)

Results: I was using coconut oil at night to condition my lashes and I saw in 1 month’s time, my lashes tended to never fall (shed) or break, they just remained healthy and even stronger with time and this was just using one oil. EnvyDerm uses Moroccan Argan oil, vitamins, amino acids and just a more suitable and nourishing formula. I stopped the coconut oil use to see how EnvyDerm could pick-up.

  • Nourishing- The product does help when it comes to overall lash health. My lashes were soft and not dehydrated after removing the mascara.
  • Appearance- I was happy with how the brush flared my lashes and separated, plus I did get what I would call a medium rating when it comes to volume. I seek medium volume because that makes the mascara perfect for day or night. I don’t want to look like I have feather dusters for lashes no matter what trends say. The color was a nice pigmented black, which looked beautiful but also highlighted the eye area nicely. My eyes looked open and I look awake even with 5 hours of sleep!
  • Endurance- I never touch my face and much less my eye area due to my fears of bacteria and messing up my make-up. Right now, even though it’s Fall, I’m in Southern California so I get all that the weather has to offer and even windy days. It was hot, humid, cold, to even some rain when I used the product. On normal days, I experienced zero flaking or smudging. If it was above 90 degrees, I did get some smudging and stopped applying the product to the lower lashes. Wet days, again some smudging and slight flaking that tended to occur when I entered a store that was blasting the heater (after about 7.5 hours of wear). I gave it an 8 out of 10 when it came to handling the roller-coaster ride of temperatures we get in California.

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Overall, I was happy that my lashes did not feel heavy and weighed down by the product. EnvyDerm’s formula nourished and I did see what I call great “lash health”. I did not have to do anything but wear my mascara in the day and throughout the afternoon to keep up with the results I was getting from my coconut oil treatments. I still had to curl before applying because it was my way to insure I was getting the look I wanted but because the formula is light, you can get away without curling and get some minor lift but never compared to what a lash curler can do. I trim my lashes as it is (I know sounds odd) because if I don’t, my lashes hit my sunglasses and that bothers me. I did not experience growth but because they remained healthy, they did look fuller (thicker) and felt super soft when the mascara was off.

This is after wearing the EnvyDerm mascara for 8 hours and no issues with flaking or smudges.

This is after wearing the EnvyDerm mascara for 8 hours and no issues with flaking or smudges.

Compared to my list of mascaras that I am currently using and with Benefit’s They’re Real mascara being my 10 at the moment, I give this one an 8. The one thing it has over most mascaras, is that the product promotes longer and thicker lashes with their serum. I also use Tarte’s Gifted with Amazonian Clay and that was a 7 for me. I use Lancome’s Hypnose Doll lashes and that is a favorite when it comes to brush shape and formula, and this one I rate an 8…..the same as EnvyDerm but Lancome’s is $0.50 cents more in cost and minus the benefits.

See what EnvyDerm has to offer and start 2015 with prettier lashes at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from EnvyDerm.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Body Merry: Hyaluronic Acid Serum #Review #BodyMerry

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Last week, I reviewed the Retinol serum by Body Merry and this week I will be reviewing their Hyaluronic Acid. This is a combination serum that is boosted with other ingredients like:

  • Vitamin C
  • Green Tea
  • Aloe Vera
  • Jojoba Oil
  • And Vitamin E

All ingredients are Natural or Organic. Free from harsh chemicals such as Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates. Also, no fragrances or alcohol are ever used and the product is produced in the USA.

Ingredients (as listed on their site):

  • The Hard Hitters: Plant Derived Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C + Wildcrafted Green Tea
  • The Organic Ones: Aloe + Jojoba Oil
  • Just Some of the Others: Witch Hazel + MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) + Geranium Essential Oil + Vitamin E

Price Point: $14.99 for a 1 fluid ounce bottle that comes with a dropper top. Backed by a 100% Money Back Guarantee too!

Hyaluronic Acids help boost the amount of moisture your skin cells can hold. You get a plump and smoother look on the surface, so while you are quenching the skin, why not add other nutritional ingredients to improve its health? Body Merry does just that and even if you are prone to clogged pores, blemishes, acne, blackheads, this is a non-clogging formula. My T-Zone should be called my pimple zone because I can be prone to breakouts.  I admit I sometimes just dab and pretend to moisturize these areas but always lightly. I was able to apply a thin layer of the Body Merry’s Hyaluronic Acid serum and woke up the next day without any skin issues. You will notice as the weeks go by and with continued use, the serum has lasting results. Due to its plumping nature and how well it drives moisture to the areas applied, I went for it and I applied it on my lips. I usually use whatever is left on my finger tips after applying to my face and neck area, which is usually more than enough. Chapped lips/Winter lips are now not an issue and I follow up with a nourishing balm enriched with Coconut oil. Another great product by Body Merry that is affordable, performs well and with regular use, rewards you with better looking skin. I figure I will start my 2015 looking better than years before!

Get your Body Merry fix at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Body Merry.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Foxbrim: Vitamin A + Antioxidants, Advanced 1% Retinol Complex #Foxbrim #Review

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Foxbrim is a company I was not too familiar with in the beauty world, however they offer a small line of products that range from moisturizers to some with anti-again properties. Their focus is about keeping it simple but using potent ingredients that are organic and all-natural. Combining premium products that work and if they don’t, they stand behind them with a 90-Day Money Back Guarantee!

I was sent a bottle of their Vitamin A + Antioxidants, Advanced Retinol Complex. The product comes with a declared 1% Retinol potency, which is something I now look for in ant-aging products of this kind. I already like the bottle with a pump because this is the best way to preserve and slow down the oxidation of the vitamin. The product’s claims are simple:

  • Restore
  • Renew
  • Refresh

Ingredients (as listed on their site):

Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil), Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E), CassiaAngustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Glyceryl Stearate,Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil), Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), Wildcrafted Resina Propoli (Propolis), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid.

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Price Point: $17.95 for a generous 1 fluid ounce bottle

Directions:
Apply all over face, neck and decolette. Can be used morning and/or night. Apply after washing, toning and then a serum. Can be used under cosmetics.

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Results:
I tried the formula for a period of 3 weeks, since I am already a retinol user, I did not experience the redness and/or flaking associated with first-time users. My goal was to focus on what I call the “triple R” results. The product did help restore moisture and I did not experience a decline in the results I had achieved from previous retinol based products. What my skin achieved remained and that is what you want to see when it comes to formulas of this kind, so the 1% potency is present. Foxbrim’s complex also kept my problem areas at bay by renewing the skin’s surface and speeding up the “turnover” process. I continued to exfoliate to insure the retinol was able to always have a new surface of skin to work on. My fine lines did not disappear but remained with a diminished appearance. My skin did feel moisturized and protected, plus refreshed. I never appeared tired or experienced any skin problems from the product. The moisturizer is simple but that is sometimes what we need after everything we tend to put on our faces. I do feel Foxbrim nourishes your skin and I hope in the future they release a moisturizer with an increase in retinol because I would jump on using it like I did this one.

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Connect with Foxbrim at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Foxbrim.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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