Monthly Archives: February 2017

Quick Tip #16: Hack for Storing Bobby Pins (and other things!)

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

quick-tip-16

Use a traditional magnetic
paper clip holder in a new way!

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got bobby pins everywhere … in your pocket … in your purse … on your vanity … on the bathroom floor … in your hair … The list could go on and on. Storing them can be problematic because you need them at the ready but don’t necessarily want them in a pile of 50 on your bathroom counter. Want your bobby pins neatly contained yet within arm’s reach? Buy yourself a magnetic paper clip holder. No, you’re not going to swap out your bobby pins for paper clips. But, you are going to use them to store them. Because the paper clip holder is magnetized, you will no longer have to stress over dumping over your collection of bobby pins just to get the one (or 20) you need for your hairstyle of the day. You can simply grab and go like the civilized hair aficionado I know you are (or want to be). 😉

Use color to organize your bobby pins in style!

Add a touch of whimsy!

Need to #getorganized? Buy several and use one to store bobby pins and the others for hair pins, small hair clips, or miniature hair accessories. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. You can go traditional or avante garde. I personally love the bright bold coloring of the open bowl style. You can use one for each type of bobby pin! Or, you can go contemporary with a dual top holder. Either way, I think my Spring cleaning just got started early!

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Mario Badescu’s Almond & Honey Non-abrasive Face Scrub

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.), which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

Mario Badescu’s Almond & Honey Non-abrasive Face Scrub is a face scrub that claims to gently exfoliate, refine flaky skin, and remove dulling build-up. It is made from finely ground almonds and cornmeal, natural ingredients that gingerly remove dead skin cells. Honey extract has also been added to ensure that the skin is left soft and hydrated. Ideal for combination, dry, or sensitive skin, it reduces blackheads and congestion through gentle buffing.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water, Eau), Talc, Propylene Glycol, Zinc Oxide, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Kaolin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Mel (Honey, Miel), Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Meal, Cellulose Gum, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Isostearate, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Carrageenan, Sodium Chloride,Parfum (Fragrance), Stearic Acid, Methylparaben, Cetyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Quaternium-15, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea

Directions: Use light pressure to apply scrub onto wet skin (avoiding the eye area). Massage all areas of the face using upward, circular motions for 30 seconds, then rinse with warm water. For best results, exfoliate 1-3 times a week. If product gets into eyes, rinse well with water. Follow with toner or astringent.

This decadent face scrub is specially formulated to be gentle on even the most delicate of skin. Finely ground almonds and cornmeal buff away dull, flaky skin to reveal a brighter, more even-toned complexion. The rich blend of sweet almond oil, honey, and oatmeal will leaves your complexion feeling nourished. After only one use, my combination, sensitive skin felt smooth and baby soft. And, the smell? Heavenly sweet … like fresh croissants aux amandes being pulled from a hot oven. Mmm!

The name of the product is a bit misleading, though. The texture of this almond and honey “scrub” is different than any other I’ve used. Most scrubs have microdermabrasion particles of pumice or volcanic rock, or are salt- or sugar-based, or have salt- or sugar-like compounds. This almond and honey scrub, however, has the luxurious consistency of a thick spa facial mask. When you open the container, you can see all of the little bits of actual almonds bespeckled generously throughout the jar. Although there are a few “chunkier” pieces of almonds, I found all of them to be perfectly balanced … they were soft enough to avoid agitating my skin while being firm enough to remove any dry, flaky areas.

At first, I wasn’t sure how much I would like a scrub that wasn’t really a scrub. I also wasn’t sure how well this “scrub” would work. To my surprise, Mario Badescu’s Almond & Honey Non-abrasive Face Scrub gently removed all of my dead skin cells without leaving my combination, sensitive skin red or inflamed. Admittedly, some of you out there won’t like the fact that this scrub doesn’t look like or feel like a scrub. I didn’t at first, either. But, once I saw how well the product worked, I stopped caring. Facial mask, scrub, or whatever Mario Badescu chooses to call it, it works, and I like it!

I use this almond and honey “scrub” 3x a week to exfoliate and brighten my skin, and it pays dividends every time! Although I’ve been using this product for over six months, I noticed a visible clarity in the appearance and texture of my skin in only a week’s time! And, with continued use, the results have just gotten better. It has removed dark spots, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation from acne scars as well as overexposure to the sun. That is something that I have never been able to achieve from other brands or product lines (at this low $15 price point). My only complaint is that I wish it did a better job of removing congestion from my nose area, but that part of my T-zone has always been problematic regardless of the products I have used, so I can’t really complain, especially considering how amazingly well the rest of my facial skin responds to this product.

All in all, this Almond & Honey Non-abrasive Face Scrub has lived up to its claims and is well worth the low $15 price tag. Because it is so thick, a little bit of product goes a long way, which makes this already amazing product all the more praiseworthy!

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Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant for Blackheads and Enlarged Pores

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

I adored Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster serum, so my sister kindly gifted me Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. I have fairly decent skin but, because my sensitive, combination skin gets quite oily in my T-Zone, it can become congested at times, especially near my nose. As a result, I was excited to try this new product.

Product Claims:

This Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliant rapidly exfoliates the skin’s surface, unclogging pores and improving skin’s appearance. The result is a dramatic improvement in the skin’s appearance, feel, and function, which leads to healthier-looking skin and a noticeable improvement in the appearance of wrinkles. There is a great deal of research indicating that BHA (salicylic acid) drastically smooths the surface of skin. The lightweight liquid formula allows for a faster, but gentle, deep exfoliation rate than our gel or lotion BHA products, so it’s an ideal choice for stubborn, clogged pores. This product is 100% fragrance- and colorant-free with a pH range of 3.2-3.8. Every Paula’s Choice BHA product is formulated with additional soothing agents.

Indications:
This Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant comes in a 4 oz. container for $29. All skin types may use this product, but the texture is especially suited for those with normal to oily skin, combination skin, or blemish-prone skin.

Ingredients:
Water (Aqua), Methylpropanediol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Polysorbate 20 (solubilizing agent), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), and Tetrasodium EDTA (chelating agent)

Directions:
Apply the Skin Perfecting Liquid once or twice daily after cleansing and toning. Lightly soak a cotton pad and apply over the entire face, including the eye area (avoid the lower lash line and eyelids). Do not rinse. For daytime, follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25 or greater.

Recommended Skincare Routine:

After using this Skin Perfecting Liquid for over 3 months, I didn’t notice ANY recognizable improvement in my skin. My enlarged pores in my nose and chin area never seemed to diminish (or even unclog). I never saw any amelioration in my skin’s texture, and I certainly never noticed any smoothing effect of ANY of my laugh lines! While I appreciate that this product is deemed safe for all skin types and contains green tea extract to calm the skin and combat any redness, it didn’t seem to have any actual effect on my skin. In fact, while using this product, I ended up having to use other products by different brands to “spot treat” a minor acne bump or two as well as exfoliate and deep clean my skin.

I love the fact that this product is fragrance-free and colorless. When it comes to my skin care, I’m not a huge fan of overly scented products. It also never irritated my sensitive, combination skin. However, I felt like all I was doing was slathering water on my face every day. Week after week, I kept waiting for something … ANYTHING … to improve. It never did!

My sister thinks that the product didn’t have much effect on me because I eat clean, drink plenty of water, and have relatively good skin (with the exception of some minor acne during “that time of the month.” Perhaps, she is right. Although, considering the length of time I used the product, I hoped it to at least decongest my nose and chin area by diminishing the size of my pores there (as promised). I wasn’t anticipating a miracle skincare product. However, I am disappointed, to say the least, that Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid couldn’t live up to any of their claims for my skin. Given the $29 price tag, I expected better.

As a result, I think this Skin Perfecting Liquid will probably work best for persons with cystic acne or extremely inflamed or problematic skin. If you’re like me and only suffer from an occasional acne bump or two, chances are this product won’t do much for you other than extend the time it takes you to muddle through your morning and evening skincare routine! Sigh.

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Swanson Bamboo Extract for Hair, Skin, and Nail Health

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This blog post contains affiliate links (e.g., to Amazon, eBay, etc.),  which means that if you click on one of the product links and place an order, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue to create content like this.

Thank you for your support!

Bamboo extract contains 10x the amount of silica as horsetail grass. This is good news for those of us who are (ahem) no longer twenty-somethings as silica levels naturally decline as we age. As a result, supplementing with quality, natural silica like that found in bamboo extract can help to support and improve one’s hair, skin, and nail health.

I’ve heard so much about bamboo extract in the last couple of years, that I finally decided to take the plunge. I was so excited that I purchased two bottles in the hopes that in a month or two, I’d have long, luxurious hair. Hey, it could happen! Don’t crush this naturalista’s “long hair don’t care” dream! Well, since nothing beats a failure but a try, I decided to give bamboo extract a go.

Although the bamboo extract pill is on the larger side, because it comes in the form of a gel cap, it’s very easy to swallow. After taking this supplement for a month (29 days), I didn’t experience any skin improvements. However, I eat clean, drink plenty of water, exercise six (sometimes seven) days a week, and already have pretty decent skin. I did see a marked improvement in the condition of my weak, brittle nails, though.

My nails are so fragile that they tend to break just by looking at them! But, after only a week or two, my nails started to grow scarily fast. So much so that I trimmed them twice in one week! Even when I accidentally caught my left thumb nail in the zipper of a beloved jacket, resulting in being forced to cut the nail down to the nub, 50% of the nail grew back to it’s original length in only 4 days. It would have normally taken almost two weeks for that to happen with my super thin nails! After a month of taking bamboo extract, my nails are stronger, longer, and much more resilient.

I also noticed that the bamboo extract increased my hair’s thickness and volume. And, while this supplement is no magic bullet, it did help (some of) my hair to grow at a faster rate. However, due to all the different textures on my head, that didn’t seem to happen for all of my strands. (Sigh)

Watch the following video to view a video summary of my results after taking bamboo extract for a month. It also reveals my final length check …

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