Shopper Army: Try A Free Olay Regenerist Product!

I received an email from Shopper Army this afternoon inviting me to apply to try for free and review one of four Olay Regenerist skincare products, and I thought I’d share the offer with you too!

Why I love Shopper’s Army: You get to test full-size products from leading brands and earn rewards by completing surveys, watching videos, and much more! I love the free products- Right now in addition to the Olay campaign, they have several other products you can review.

Tryazon: David & Mary Mother’s Day Spa Party

We’ve been participating in Tryazon events for three+ years. We’ve gotten to try all sorts of fun toys, games, and food.  You can learn more about Tryazon here.

Treat yourself and your friends this Mother’s Day with this Tryazon Featured Party opportunityDavid & Mary create skincare products that allow you to receive maximum results in a much shorter time than traditional salon treatments. Many people don’t have the time for lengthy salon visits but still want to maintain or improve their appearance. David & Mary have created that line of products with highly concentrated ingredients proven to achieve documented results that cause the skin to function at its highest level of skin recovery!

Tryazon has a total of 50 hosting spots open for this opportunity! Those selected get to receive a party pack with a selection of David & Mary products, to sample and share with friends and family! Learn more and apply here.

Sephora: New Birthday Freebies for 2022!

The 2022 Birthday Gifts from Sephora have arrived! And this year they are awesome!  Choose a mini set from Laura Mercier, amika, Tatcha, or Olaplex. While supplies last.*

I’m most excited about the Laura Mercier mini set, and my birthday is next month, so I’ll be posting more birthday freebies as they start to arrive in my inbox!

*Beauty Insiders are eligible to redeem one birthday gift per year. Redeem in Sephora US and Canada stores, on sephora.com and sephora.ca, in Sephora at Kohl’s stores, on kohls.com, and at Sephora Inside JCPenney Stores. Gift selection may vary at Sephora Inside JCPenney. Must provide Beauty Insider email address at the time of redemption. No purchase is necessary for in-store redemption. Merchandise purchase required for online redemption. Redeem two weeks before or after your birthday or any time during your birthday month. Offer not valid on jcp.com. If you are having problems redeeming online, please contact customer service at sephora.com/contact-us. A birthday gift is provided “as is”. Substitutions may occur. Valid while supplies last. This offer is subject to change, alteration, or termination by Sephora at its sole discretion at any time.

Reviewing Products from Tomoson: Sometimes it’s a no go.

I received this product for free (I paid for shipping and tax) in exchange for an honest review.

Recently I decided to check out Tomoson again and see what kind of fun products I could review. I stumbled upon this Vela Contour from Anacis. I thought “Why Not?”.

Here’s why not.

After wearing it for 40 minutes (the amount of time in the directions), I had a head and jaw ache. I figured I had it on too tight. So the next day I loosened it. Same thing.
After loosening it daily and wearing it per the directions for a week, not only did I not see any results, but I had the same head/jaw ache each time.

Zero Stars. Skip it.

Usually when I try products through Tomoson and I blog reviews, I give a backstory or tips and tricks to use the item. Not this time. I took no photos of myself in this contraption. This face slimmer is a hard pass for me. And honestly, getting a lemon of a product is bound to happen. It’s the law of probability. Sometimes you’ll get something cool, in fact, most times you will. This is maybe the second product in 4-ish years that has lacked any redeeming value.

You can buy this contraption on Amazon or Walmart.com if you feel the need to torture yourself, but as for me, I’ll be adding mine to the donate box.

I received this product for free (I paid for shipping and tax) in exchange for an honest review.

 

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.

Follow My Month Long Skin Care Challenge with HD Beauty!

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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?

 

My Favorites: Fall Edition

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For some of us, fall means changing leaves, cool weather, and busting out sweaters. For those of us in the South West, it means nothing has changed. EXCEPT: Santa Ana Winds, and fire danger is LIEK WHOAH.

None the less, there are some things that to me mean that fall is here! And here are just a few of my favorites:

Torani Sugar Free Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup– I love this stuff, especially in hot coffee with a little half and half. It’s like a cinnamon dolce latte but without the big price tag.

This stuff is also pretty tasty in oatmeal too.

And a bottle this size will last a few months.

24oz_Cup_Plain_WM_IcelandicCreamSkyr-400x400.pngSiggi’s Plain Skyr Whole Milk (Yogurt)– This stuff is THE BEST yogurt I’ve ever had. I love Greek Yogurt, but it’s got nothing on Siggi’s. It’s thicker, richer, and creamier than any other yogurt. It’s a great substitute for sour cream, and when mixed with fruit and granola (Like this stuff from Bear Naked– which is another one of my new favorite things), it’s heaven.

Slow Cooker Liners– Fall usually means that your Slow Cooker/Crockpot gets a lot of use. Nothing sucks more than scrubbing crusty stuff off the bottom of a slow cooker.

Enter the Slow Cooker Liner- it makes clean up soooo much easier. It’s kinda like a baking bag, but less crinkly.

Santa Ana winds and fire danger. Not fun for the environment. Also, not fun for people. The hot dry air makes your skin dry, it makes your lips chapped and cracked. UGH.  My favorite product hands down to combat the dry weather shenanigans:

Bag BalmIt’s awesome for your hands, feet, and lips. Slather some on your feet, cover with some cotton socks, and hop into bed. The next morning, your feet will look and feel a million times better.

 

Talk Back: What are some of your favorite items this fall?

If you click on any of the links above, I may receive a commission for items purchased. Commissions cover costs associated with running the blog. If you want to know more about our use of affiliate links, Please check out our Disclosure Page.

Review: The Ritual of Ayurveda with #Tryazon

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I love this box!

Recently, the awesome people at Tryazon and Ritual sent me an incredible box of the most heavenly products to review… The Ritual of Ayurveda-Balancing Ritual.

Ritual recently opened up a store at one our local more upscale malls, and I was entranced by all of the varieties and scents. I was so excited to dig into the box and discover what Rituals products were all about.

 

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.21.51 PM.pngThe Ritual of Ayurveda-Balancing Ritual, comes with:

  • The Ritual of Ayurveda-Body scrub 4.4 oz
  • The Ritual of Ayurveda-Hand Wash 10.1 oz
  • The Ritual of Ayurveda-Balancing Body Cream 2.3 oz
  • The Ritual of Ayurveda-Harmonizing Foaming Shower Gel 6.7oz

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 10.22.09 PM.pngEach of the products in the set have the most intoxicating aroma: Indian Rose and Sweet Almond Oil. What I love about the scent is that it’s not what you commonly think of as ROSE. You know what I mean.. Heavy, sweet, cloying. Kinda like old lady perfume.

Indian Rose is a light, delicate aroma. It’s a mood booster, and roses have long been the universal symbol of purity and love.

Combined with sweet almond oil, which not only has a light scent, but is also rich in proteins and vitamins. It regulates moisture in the skin- the perfect base for skin and body products.

I started my Ritual in the shower with the Body Scrub. Not only is the smell heavenly, but, the scrub has an amazing feeling. The base is a mixture of rich oils: Sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil, and jojoba oil. The actual scrubby part is pink salt, which exfoliated gently and left my skin so soft and smooth.

Afterwards I used the Foaming Shower gel, which is unlike anything else I’ve ever used. It goes out as a gel, but quickly lathers up to a rich, creamy foam.

I’ve been keeping the Body Cream next to my bed and applying it right before bed. I wake up with soft, supple skin. It’s a great feeling, especially with all the dry late summer/early fall weather we’ve been having lately.

If you want to check out  The Ritual of Ayurveda or any of the other awesome Rituals, Check out their website, or visit one of their stores.

While I received this set for free, all opinions are my own, and I was not financially compensated to write this review. You can learn more about my reviews on my disclosure page.

#ritualsusa #shareyourslowdown #tryazon

The down side of reviewing….

 

I love reviewing products. If you want to start reviewing products, I have a list of sites here.

Every once in a while the product isn’t awesome. When that happens, there area few steps you should take:

  • Email the company or your point of contact and tell them know there are issues. Be precise as to what the issue is- being vague helps nothing. Often times they will not ask you not to review the item.
  • Offer to ship the product back if they email or send you a shipping label (The reviewer shouldn’t have to pay to send an item back). If the company doesn’t want the item back and it is not broken, consider donating it to charity or giving it to a neighbor on your local Buy Nothing group.

Most review websites give you a timetable in which to complete your review and other social media mentions. If you can’t get an answer back from your contact prior to the completion date and you can’t get an answer, you have to post some kind of a review or risk losing your account on the platform or having a negative effect on your standing. And that is where we are right now. I don’t want to lose my account or standing with Tomoson, because for the most part I have had great experiences with their site and tried some really cool products.

IMG_7020.jpgI signed up to review InstantPeel via Tomoson. I was hired to review it on 11/8/17 with 14 days to complete all of the activities (write a blog post and share on social media).  The company was supposed to ship the item to me directly. After 12 days (that leaves me 2 days to try the product, take pics, write a review and post to social media). I messaged the company via Tomoson right away to let them know I was allergic to two of the ingredients and that I needed some advice on next steps ASAP.

That was last night.  I have not heard back from them yet, and since I only have until 12:01AM to complete my tasks, here we are… I have messaged them again, but without any other way to contact them, I’m at an impasse.

img_7021.jpgIMG_7022Yeah, Shrimp Extract. For someone allergic to shellfish, that’s not something I want to rub on my body.

And yes, I did look online for the ingredients before I signed up. The ingredients listed on this Amazon listing for the product are completely different.

And this isn’t really a peel. It’s a gommage (which is French for erase or eraser). A peel sloughs off the dead layers of skin generally by using enzymes or acid (sometimes fruit based like Alpha hydroxy acids). A gommage is treatment applied to the skin, then after a length of time, the skin is rubbed and the product balls up and flakes off the skin.

So here is my review: I don’t have one because I can’t try a skincare product that contains allergens, and given the time frame I was given, I don’t have time to find someone I can test this on.