Oz Naturals: 2.5% Retinol Serum with Astaxanthin and Vitamin E #Review #OzNaturals

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The market is filled with ant-aging products and even though we have many too choose from, some rarely work. Like I have mentioned in past reviews, no oversight like in the supplement world, so most products just have to not hurt you and they are really overlooked and still being sold. I spent the last few weeks testing out serums to devices that help with aging skin. It’s so hard knowing I invested a few weeks and a product just did not deliver what was stated.

Thankfully, Oz Naturals was not one of them!

I love retinol and especially one that did not cost an office visit. Yes, the prescriptions are not as costly as one would think but the office visits cost money and refills require another office visit. It gets up there and I honestly do not feel I am need of the prescription strength, yet. I prefer to not over medicate my face because if I up the potency, I also up the side effects and with Summer around, I also up my chances of getting a red and peely face. I’m all for anti-aging but shedding skin like a lizard is not sexy no matter the bikini you wear!

Oz Naturals has a 2.5% retinol serum, which contains Astaxanthin and Vitamin E. The formula is a strong orange hue in color that always makes me think the retinol oxidized, as yellow is the first tinge you see when it does, followed by the orange color that comes after. Thankfully, this is just a coloring from the ingredients versus a serum going wonky and I prefer getting pass the color versus a dye being added to just calm my fears. That is what Oz Naturals does, it offers a natural approach to your skincare’s needs.

Ingredients (as listed on website): Organic Herbal Infusion, Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe), Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide (botanical hyaluronic acid), HamamelisVirginiana (Witch Hazel), Pentylene Glycol, Phospholipids, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Hydroxyethyl Cellulose, Carrageenan Gum, Organic SimmondsiaChinensis (Jojoba Oil), TriticumVulgare (Wheat Germ Oil), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), WildcraftedResinaPropoli (Propolis), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin.

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Astaxanthin: This was an ingredient that I had heard of but was not familiar with, as not any of my beauty products contain it. It’s a carotenoid and an antioxidant. It’s what they feed salmon when people for some reason want to see a pinker/orange hue in their fish. It does not convert to retionol (Vitamin A), however research which is still limited, has reflected it may aid with inflammation, oxidation and even UV damage. I like that it’s simple and as long as it’s derived naturally and not in it’s synthetic form, it has the potential to help and protect against oxidative (free-radical) aging skin.

Price Point: $24.99 for a 1 ounce bottle with a pump top, versus a dropper.  This bottle helps keep the air out and because it’s tinted, the glass keeps the light out too.

Verdict:
I love serums because my skin loves them. They absorb quickly and that means less residue and you don’t feel that heaviness that some creams tend to leave behind. Most serums play well with cosmetics and because I have increased my retinol use to both day and night use, just making sure I use sunscreen in the day to avoid redness or hyper-pigmentation issues. The latter part would kind of go against what I am trying to do (save my skin), so please don’t skip on your SPF. I used the serum for a total of 3 weeks and like always, I am going from one 2.5% retinol brand to another. I will notice if a product works if it does or does not maintain the progress I have previously achieved, and I can then measure if the new serum brings anything new to the party. Even though Oz Naturals is orange in color, it did not leave a orange colored goop that was hard to hide. My skin absorbed the serum with no problems! I did notice that my skin at week two had a nicer and more pleasant texture. My skin had a glow that the previous retinol serum did not add. It was not an oily glow but just a healthy one and because I suffer from horrible seasonal allergies, this is something that unfortunately always reflects on my face and sadly my skin. The glow I got sort of helped make me look healthier and less tired, so it took attention away from the signs of having bad allergies gives you. I’ll take it! Any serum that can do more than just deliver retinol is what I seek. I’m always looking to simplify my routine and I literally went from Oz Naturals 2.5% retinol serum to then moisturizer at night, and done! Just switch to an SPF moisturizer in the day and it’s the easiest and most effective duo I have found, so no excuses that you have no time for your skin. With Oz Naturals, you will only need 3 minutes to get what I consider a good anti-aging beauty regimen, so you can even do it while brushing your teeth 🙂

Oz Naturals offers a large assortment of Beauty products at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Oz 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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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.

Swaggable: Belegenza ILLustrious Shampoo & Cleanser #Review

 

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I do not receive that many items when it comes to hair products, but so far the Belegenza line makes any room they are in smell so nice and clean. I have never heard of the brand but I always welcome anything new when it comes to hair care. I have very long hair that is a mixture of normal and fine in texture but not flat or thin…..it’s really just too much hair if you ask me. I pick-up static like a balloon would (frizz central) and the only two positives I can find is it does not break easily and so far no grays (yet) 🙂 You know how people have combination skin problems, well I have those too but also combination hair ones. At least I’m consistent!

I have been using Carol’s Daughter products and very happy but I’m always hunting for something different or better.

I read up on Belegenza and their products on-line. Belengenza’s (bel-a-jen’-za) name is made up of two Italian/Latin words, where Bel meaning beauty and Gen for genesis. The company’s website was very informative and they make hair products that fit everyone’s needs. Their products are gentle but effective and very in tune with nature and using natural ingredients.

Belegenza ILLustrious Shampoo & Cleanser: The shampoo is uses natural extracts that are derived from fruit and vegetables. You have anti-aging extracts like Sugarcane, Apple, Green Tea, Nettle, Sage, Rosemary, Comfrey and Rhizome Root. You also have Castor Beans, 3 types of Seaweeds and Vitamin E and Vitamin B6. No wonder it smells so good but the scent remains welcoming, not over perfume-y. The shampoo is also color safe and free of salt and sulfates. Nothing really synthetic or at all damaging to your hair or scalp. So far I really liked their ingredients and they use an Aloe Vera base versus just selling you products that are just mostly water.

Ingredients as listed on their site:
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (Vegetable based) , Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (Coconut based), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Coconut based), Hypnea Musciformis (Hawaiian Seaweed) Extract, Gelidiela Acerosa (Gulfweed Seaweed) Extract, Sargassum Filipendula (Red Mapleweed) Extract, Sorbitol, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate (Coconut based), Glycol Stearate (Vegetable based) , Honey, Secret Salon Ingredient, Silk Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugarcane) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Symphytum Officinale (Comfrey) Rhizome/Root Extract, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Pyridoxine HCL-5-Phosphate (Vitamin B6), Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Sorbic Acid (Rowanberry distillate), Polyquaternium-10 (Cellulose/thickener) , Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA(Mineral chelator), Citric Acid (Lemon), Phthalate-free fragrance.

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Performance: The product lathers up really good and even though I do not have color or chemically treated hair, the shampoo worked wonders. My hair was left feeling clean but not stripped. Very calming scent while you shower and a clean welcoming natural fragrance is left when hair dries. I liked how my hair not only looked but felt. The frizz level was very low and my hair just looks healthier. I tried both a natural (air) drying and then the second time used a blow dryer, again happy with both results.

Price Point: $22.00

I was satisfied and happy with the shampoo and it actually made me curious as to how a more suited for me formula would perform from Belegenza’s line of hair care products.

For more information on the above product or to view the full Belegenza line, please visit:

 

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I received the above product free of charge from Swaggable and Belegenza.  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.

Waxelene: All Natural Petroleum Jelly Alternative #Review

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I have walked by it so many times, passed the Waxelene on the shelf at Bed, Bath & Beyond….that I think the little buzzing bee on their packaging teases me at this point. Thankfully, Waxelene took pity on me, that or the bee reported me for stalking, but nonetheless……I have my own Waxelene tube now.

What is it?
Waxelene is a blend of Organic Soy oil, Beeswax, Natural Vitamin E oil and Organic Rosemary oil. Pretty simple but sometimes the simplest things are the best.

Let’s talk about the day I receive the tube via mail:

I somehow burned my arm taking a bundt pan out of the oven. I would love to say it was when I was pulling the pan out and the mitt was too short but this was plainly me not paying attention. I was using a toothpick to check for doneness and rested my arm against the pan’s edge. I did not feel it until it was too late, and it left a nice slash shaped mark on my arm. I tried ignoring it, but the burn turned into an itch that hurt when scratched. The following day my scar looked like a cat got the best of me! Being that it was where my skin’s arm is the brightest white in color….I was not only upset by my lack of attention so that I was now sporting this boo-boo, but the scar just stood out. For some reason this burn dehydrated my skin in that area so the scar and surrounding tissue had a nice leather skin pattern…..I went from looking like a cat beat me up to then turning 1% lizard. I finally heard the bee from Waxelene buzzing from the box!

I try it and feel relief and realize I’m at day 5 now from my bundt attack. The itch is no longer there and I look less crusty when the Waxelene is applied. You still see the darkness but I left my lizard-like ways in the past. I shower and notice that my lizard-ness is really openings that are cracks, and bleeding a little. Bundt 1, and Me 0! I continue applying the Waxelene and notice a little goes a long way. No residue or odor left behind and it looks matte when rubbed in. By day 9 I am 0% lizard but have a scar that is lifting. I peel like a snake and underneath is a pinkish colored scar but light in color. I apply for 1 week and a half in total and by the last day, I have a very faint mark that just looks like I leaned against something…..very faint in color and barely visible.

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I would love to say this was my first time having an oven “oopsie” but let’s say sometimes things attack….like that jumping salmon fillet when my cookie pan (which I no longer own) decided to jump and twist without even being touched. I thought I was a fish catcher and learned that fish fillet pieces are better left where they land than trying to catch to save who knows what. Wish I had Waxelene then. The tube came with a card that lists dozens of uses like-

For:

  • Dry Skin
  • Chapped lips
  • Anti-Chafe
  • Make-Up
  • Diapers (for rashes or as a diaper cream)
  • After-Shave
  • After-Sun
  • Eczema
  • Dry Spots
  • Lengthens Perfume life
  • Hair dye (barrier)
  • Nail polish (barrier) and also un-stick nail polish bottles
  • Tattoos (barrier)
  • Pets (from paws to hot spots)
  • Stops Rust
  • Control wild eyebrows
  • and let’s not forget the new one, “Bundt Pan Attacks”.

Waxelene is also Cruelty-free, made in the U.S.A., free of Hydrogenated oils, free of Sulfates, free of Mineral oils and parabens. An all-natural product that is simple and works. Not greasy and colorless, so you are not left with a shiny residue that you spread around. The Waxelene bee is kind and I recommend you pick up a tube today! You never know when pans jump and attack 🙂

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Stalk…..I mean visit the Waxelene Bee at:

You can also find Waxelene at many retailers like Bed, Bath & Beyond, CVS, Whole Foods to Sprout’s Markets and many more.

I received the above product free of charge from Waxelene.  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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