My Quarantine Beauty Favs and a Giveaway!

Here in California, as well as all over the nation, many businesses that are not essential are closed. That means no hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, massages, all the fun stuff that helps us relax and de-stress. Lemme tell you, after 5 months (as of Thursday) of being home with the kids all the time without knowing what is going on most of the time (or what is coming up next), I’m feeling a little stressed.

Most of you, I’m guessing, are in a similar situation. Recently I took some of my side hustle cash and splurged. Well, for me it was a splurge. I spent money on myself on some self-care items that were very much needed. These are my favorite beauty/personal care items that are helping me get through these uncertain times. 

I’m in love with this scrub! Everything by Tree Hut is awesome, but this sugar scrub is tits. It’s got Shea Butter to moisturize, sugar to exfoliate, and it smells like summer. I usually buy it at Walmart, but Amazon has it cheaper (especially when you subscribe and save).

 

Nature Nut Hair Conditioner for Dry & Damaged Hair– I discovered this conditioner through one of the companies that I test and review products through, and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one. Regardless- I am HOOKED. First of all, it smells great. Second, and most importantly, it makes my hair feel great. Smooth, soft, shiny, all that good stuff. And that’s important because my hair has been through some ish this past year. Purple hair is a lot of work. The shampoo is good too, but the conditioner? That stuff is tops!

Speaking of purple hair, I use Ion Permanent Brights Creme from Sally Beauty in Purple. Of course, you gotta have a developer, and a bowl and brush, and gloves too. I color my hair with this about every 8-10 weeks. My hair grows pretty fast, and to be honest, my hair is coming in more and more grey, so it’s super noticeable. To stretch my permanent color, I’ll hit the ends with a semi-permanent dark pink about week 4-6, and refresh the remaining all-over color with a semi-permanent purple. Right now I’m digging Color Jamz ( Reapsberry Kamikaze and Purple Passion to be exact). I use the pink on Bitty Bird’s hair too- It washes out in about 2-4 weeks.

I’m a huge fan of good skincare products. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my self-care DIY facial flat lays. A couple of my go-to summer skincare products are:

Noexema– Seriously. It is incredible for soothing sunburned skin. I keep a jar under the skin for this very reason. Slather on a thick layer over sunburned skin and rest for about an hour. Rinse off any excess on a cool shower. Pat skin gently to dry.  

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater This toner is very soothing and calming. I stash this in the fridge in the summer and give myself and the kiddos a spritz a few times a day. And it smells nice too. 

I know that some extra time in the shower, scrubbing with some yummy sugar scrub isn’t going to make all the shenanigans going on in the world melt away. But if I can give myself some grace, chill the fuck out, and have a few extra minutes to myself, I’m going to do it. 

Oh, and if you are wondering what kind of hand sanitizer (called hanny-sanny by my daughter) we like- Usually I’d say whatever is on sale, but since there was a recent debacle about some imported Hanny-Sanny being poisonous (WTF?), we’ve got a couple of large bottles of Kundal Fresh Water Hand Sanitizer that are pretty good. And it’s not sticky. Having used many types over the past few months, I’ve come to discover that some types/brands are sticky. EW. Also, I’ve come to realize that most of it smells like cheap vodka, and now I have no desire to drink vodka. 

And now for the Giveaway- I want you to splurge and get yourself some awesome self-care goodies too. Leave me a comment on this blog post: What would you buy FOR YOURSELF with a $25 Amazon GC? You can earn a bonus entry by commenting on this Instagram post. I’ll choose a winner on 8/23/2020. I’ll notify the winner via email.

Personal Care in the Time of Covid-19

**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

If you’ve seen some of my Instagram posts lately you may have noticed my greys. Yeah. I’m sporting almost 2 inches of roots/re-growth, and I’m feeling kinda shabby.

Now that most of us are settling down in our weird “New Norm” and are getting settled into a new (and weird) routine we are starting to notice that our regular personal care rituals have fallen to the wayside. It’s healthy to do self-care in whatever form you prefer: Hair color, painting your nails, doing a cleanse. Whatever you need to do to help yourself feel better in this strange new time.

Madison Reed has come to my rescue! I’ve used their service off and on for the past 5 years, usually when I couldn’t get to Sally Beauty to pick up my favorite Ion hair color. I ordered my kit on last Friday, it should be arriving this week.

Besides selling hair color kits, Madison Reed’s website has some of the best articles and tips on their blog.

deadlynightshadeIf you are a little more in the know or want more of a DIY experience, man Sally Beauty locations are offering curbside pick up.  You can order hair color, developer, shampoo, conditioner, spa stuff, nail stuff, even waxing stuff if you are feeling up to it online, and then pick it up at your local Sally Beauty location. Pretty sweet, right?

I was at the drugstore yesterday (getting our rX refills), and I happened down the hair color aisle and it looked picked over. Lots of blues and greens available, but nothing in tamer colors.

The CEO of Walmart has commented that we are Hair Color phase of panic buying (source), and I 100% agree. Cruising the HBA (Health and Beauty Aids) aisles of CVS, it’s pretty barren. Most of the nicer/pricier brands of shampoo and conditioner are sold out, there isn’t much in the way of DIY facial supplies (Secret Tip: Dollar Tree sells name brand skincare masks. I’ve seen the same masks at Walmart for over $3 each).

Remember:

  • Wash your hands
  • Cover Your face
  • Flatten The Curve
  • Take Care of Yourself

Follow My Month Long Skin Care Challenge with HD Beauty!

IMG_9833.JPG
Doesn’t everyone wash their face in the shower?

You only get one face, so it’s important to take care of it. My grandmother said that you should always spend good money on shoes and bras. I’d like to add skincare to that list.

This week I started my Month long Skincare challenge with HD Beauty. I took their 2 Minute Skin Code Quiz here to determine what type my skin was. No Surprise, I’m Type 2: Normal, Sensitive, Red.

My kit included:

HD Pure Balancing Cleansing Gel- Gentle cleanser with chamomile essential oil, antioxidants, and peptides soothes and hydrates normal to sensitive skin.

HD Revitalize 7 In 1 Rejuvenator- Concentrated anti-aging serum with lilac stem cells, vitamin C, and marine extracts. Dramatically improves deeper lines, brightness, texture, and pores.

HD Perform Multi-Complex Crème- Antioxidant moisturizer combining the strongest antioxidant, Lipochroman® to help reduce and prevent visible aging changes. Peptides and brighteners visibly improve the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and age spots.

I’ll be posting weekly photo update selfies on my Instagram page, so you can see the changes my skin undergoes. Already in less than a week, I’ve noticed less redness and my 11’s (you know, those lines between your eyebrows) and forehead lines are less noticeable. I’m only using these three products in addition to the SPF I use when we are outside.

In addition to my home care regimen, I’m looking forward to a facial! If you’ve never had a facial, I completely recommend going to see a trained esthetician (like Melanie at The Skincare Boutique). Estheticians are trained to access your skin type and help you take care of your skin with professional strength products and a great at home daily treatment plan.  Blackheads, whiteheads, aging skin, redness, adult acne (oh, hello breakouts after 40!)- These are all concerns that estheticians can help you with!

In addition to using these awesome products, and getting a professional facial, I’m taking a month off my beloved Primer (seriously, I’m in love with this product), liquid foundation, and mineral powder. I wear a full face of makeup a few times a week, but I’ve noticed lately on my days without face makeup, my skin looks a bit ragged. Time to refresh and renew!

In addition to great skin care products, and a little help from the pros, here are a few more helpful tips to get your skin looking (and feeling) it’s best:

Water– Yeah, yeah, drinking water is good for your insides, but it also helps keep your skin hydrated!

Hands off– This one is hard, even for me. Keep your (dirty) hands off your face. If you’ve been touching stuff, your hands are dirty. Even moms get dirty hands. Reminder- After reading this, go wash your hands with soap and water.

No Need to Scrub– I know most of us grew up scrubbing our faces with a washcloth until our faces were bright and shiny, but really… Those things are scratchy. Washing your face with your fingertips is probably enough for most skin types (especially me). If you need to “scrub” with something, try a microfiber cloth. I got a super soft one in my product kit. It’s like washing my face with a soft kitten (minus the purring).

Talk Back: What is your go-to skincare product?

 

 

*Disclosure- I received these products free in exchange for my participation in this challenge and my thoughts and opinions. I received no financial compensation.

 

 

An Awesome Giveaway to Celebrate 1000 Posts!

Last week, we hit 1000 posts- That’s a lot of writing, sharing, and teaching in the past 4 years! To celebrate this milestone, I’ve put together an awesome giveaway.

Bloggers score free swag at every turn- Conventions, events, PR companies send us packages of swag to share, etc. I’ve been collecting swag for this giveaway for a few months (Thanks to the companies that were at the most recent Moms Meet Blogger Event last month- they gave me a lot of goodies to share), and I’ve got a box valued at over $250 to share.

FFC2F03E-48DA-4E1C-9B31-BE3392438284 (1).jpegThis box contains snacks for moms and kids, beauty items (including some AWESOME colleagen drink from NeoCell), adult coloring books, a moleskine journal, Vitamins and supplements (including probiotics and some awesome elderberry syrup), and perhaps my favorite item:

5f9d406f-5325-47a0-a0a3-9241fd5668a9.jpegPlus CBD oil Hemp Balm. It has a light mint scent, and it really helps with muscle and joint pain.

And not pictured but included is a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card, which will be delivered via email to the winner.

I’ll continue to add items to the box until the giveaway concludes- and I’ll be posting pictures of those items on our Instagram feed– don’t forget to follow us!

Entering to win this awesome box of goodies is super easy. Click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway  to enter via our rafflecopter widget (It may not be mobile friendly). You can also enter via our Facebook page here (Not sure this is mobile friendly either).

A winner will be chosen at random via Rafflecopter on 12/18/19 and will be notified via email. US residents only, local San Diego, CA area winner may arrange for pick up of prize in lieu of package being mailed.

This giveaway is to thank you all for reading and following my blog for 4 years, and some of you have been following me since I started blogging, over 8 years ago.

To Get Started after you visit the rafflecopter widget, leave a comment: What will you spend the $25 Amazon Gift Card on?

 

San Diego Area Readers: Donate Canned goods receive a free facial or massage!

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 8.44.30 PM.png

Firefly Wellness is having our seventh annual holiday food drive to support the San Diego Food Bank. Items can be dropped off  through December 20th at their location in North Park.

Screen Shot 2017-11-11 at 8.44.59 PM.pngThe best part of this offer is that not only are you helping others with your food bank donation, but when you donate ten or more food items off at Firefly Wellness, you’ll receive a certificate for a free 30-minute massage or facial. You can use it yourself or give it as a gift.

I know most Frugalistas have at least ten extra (and unexpired) items in their cupboard they could part with. If you are unsure what kind of items to donate, here are items that the food bank always needs:

  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)

(if you are looking for coupons to help you shop for donation, check out the coupons here)

Food Drive Information:
 
When: Now through Dec 20, 2017
Where: Firefly Wellness
How: Drop off items on your next visit, or call 619.249.4323 to schedule a drop-off or pick up or your items.
BONUS: Receive a THANK YOU GIFT CERTIFICATE when you donate ten or more items.  (Limit one per person.)
Please comment if you will be taking advantage of this great deal (and what you’ll be donating). I’ll be donating Oatmeal and Peanut Butter among other things.

Natural Skin Care for Kids and Moms from Healtop

One of the downfalls of living in the desert (because, yes, San Diego is a desert, even though there is a beach) is that my family always has dry skin.

I have lotions, and serums, and potions all over the house. None of them have been doing the trick lately, so I was excited when Healtop asked me to review their Moms Package.

unnamed

The Moms Package consists of three items:

  • Slim- Natural herbal supplement that is added to water.
  • Everyday Face Care-Serum for regular and mixed skin.
  • Body- 100% Natural Body Cream.

I’ve been adding the Slim to my water every morning and afternoon and I haven’t noticed a difference on the scale, but my skin is looking incredible! It contains extracts of several types of mushroom, turmeric, Milk Thistle, and several essential oils.

The Everyday Face Care is my new favorite product. I’ve added it to my beauty ritual. The directions tell you to apply a few drops to a clean face twice daily, but I’ve been mixing it with my usual Vitamin C serum. Everyday Face Care contains tons of nourishing essential oils in a sweet almond oil base. It is perfect for those days when my skin is super dry- which has been all the time lately.

The last component to The Moms Package is Body- 100% Natural Body Cream. This is worth it’s weight in gold! It’s 100% Natural products, no synthetic scents or mineral oils. It’s also free of petroleum-based ingredients and parabens. It’s really soothing and easy absorbed into the skin. It’s been perfect for my rough elbows and knees and for my sons dry skin. I’ve been applying it after I bathe and I wake up the next morning smooth and soft.

logoHealtop is based in Israel, and all of their products are Manufactured under international standards of GMP, HACCP, ISO90. They are naturopath approved, cruelty free, and vegan. Healtop’s products will make a great holiday gift for anyone on your gift list. they have bundles for everyone on your gift list: Teens, Toddlers, Infants, and Moms over 45!

I also love the blog section of their website. There are a lot of really great articles about various health topics. Get Rid of Back Pain Easy and Fast was of interest. Carrying around a 30 lb. 2 1/2 year old leads to a sore back frequently!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free Moms Package from Healtop and USFamilyGuide in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. I received no financial compensation for my review. Please review my Disclosure Page and contact me with any questions.

DIY Frugal Facial!

file9131343110988As the new year begins a lot of women (and men too) resolve to take better care of themselves, both physically and spiritually.

Today we’re dealing with the physical self-care, and one way to start is with a good facial.  It’s important to put your best face forward, and taking care of your skin will help!

I’ve listed DIY formulations that I like as well as links to professional products that I’ve used recently. Products that I use and recommend tend to have a high concentration of natural/botanical ingredients. I’m a huge fan of using products that have a basis in nature! Facials are a fun thing to do as part of a Ladies/Moms night in!

For your Ladies/Moms night in, have every one can bring their favorite product to share, or a quick trip to the beauty supply and the grocery store can get you everything you’ll need for a soothing facial.

1: Cleanse  your skin using a gentle cleanser in order to remove surface oil, dirt and germs. If you have oily or combination skin, use a foaming gel cleanser; if you have dry skin, look for a creamier blend that won’t dry out your skin. I like Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

2: Exfoliate. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that clings to your  skin. You can either use a mechanical exfoliator (something that is rough/ scrubby like oatmeal), or a chemical exfoliator (something that dissolves the oil and dirt that holds the dead skin cells to your skin, like the acid in pineapple or dairy products).

Natural exfoliatants include: Ground oats and pineapple. Grind oatmeal in your food processor and add 3 T. oats to 2T. Plain natural yogurt (I like greek yogurt because it’s nice and thick!) Apply to the face and remove after 10 minutes with a warm towel. Or put ¼ cup pineapple and 3 T. plain yogurt into the food processor and pulse. Once combined apply to the face and remove after 10 minutes with a warm towel.

If you don’t want to muss with mixing up your own, I like Valentia’s Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub.

At this point, you may wish to apply a serum (I like this vitamin C serum, it’s got all kinds of botanicals and humectants in it to help moisturize your skin) or spritz the skin with a nourishing toner. I like this Vitamin C Toner. Remember to  use anything that stings, burns or causes discomfort. That means NO SEA BREEZE OR ALCOHOL BASED ASTRINGENTS!

3: Mask. If you have oily or combination skin, try a clay-based mask; for dry or mature skin, look for a hydrating mask (with a creamy or gel texture).  Peel off masks are better suited for oily or combination skin (They can be a little harsh for those with sensitive skin).  Most beauty supply stores or drug stores sell masks in small sachets (like these) if you do not already have a favorite mask. Apply mask to the skin, being careful to avoid the eye area (this can lead to sagging skin). Leave mask on for 10 to 20 minutes or as directed.   Do not allow clay masks to dry completely.  The active ingredients only work as long as the mask stays moist.  Sprtiz the mask with a spray bottle of water to keep it moist once or twice. Remove the mask with warm towels and follow with a light spritz of toner.

Most facials end with a special moisturizer or lotion applied to the face.  Look for a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher in order to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer to your neck and décolleté. You can use SPF moisturizer in the evening too if your budget is too tight for two moisturizers. If you use a moisturizer that contains retinols (they are vitamin A derivatives), it’s imperative that you use an SPF during the day. Vitamin A can thin the skin and sensitize it, so you need extra protection from the suns rays.

If you wish to apply an eye cream, use only a pea sized amount and apply it with your ring fingers in a gentle patting motion.  Don’t drag your fingers across the gentle under-eye tissue.  It can damage the delicate skin in that area.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 12.14.39 PM
My Recent At Home Facial!

Here is my photo collage of my recent Spa retreat. Ok, so I was in the spare washroom after the kids were sleeping and hubs was vegging out.None the less, it’s nice to take 30 minutes or so out of your day once a week and pamper yourself!