Friday, July 31, 2015

Review + Swatches: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (Neutral Medium) and NEW Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser #15 Brush

Disclaimer: This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.

IT Cosmetics logo.jpeg

If your goal is mesmerizing eyes, then you need to make sure that you banish all under eye darkness first. My allergies can make this often difficult when I try to conceal forcing me to buy one product after the next. With Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and their new Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser #15 Brush from IT Cosmetics, the problem is finally solved.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye concealer.jpeg
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer

Being Summer, my fair complexion has a bit more color from the sun than my pale winter skin.  Therefore, the Neutral/Medium shade of this concealer was the best match for my under eyes.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer (Neutral Medium) swatch.jpeg
Here is where I swatched the Neutral-Medium Bye Bye Underneath. The darker swatch by my wrist is a thick application before besides it where I rubbed it in.

Bye Bye Under Eye ($24) with its amazing anti-aging formula that has hydrolyzed collagen, vitamins C and K among its skin-loving ingredients covers like a dream.  This smooth, creamy formula doesn’t crease even after you wear it all day or does it fade so that darkness might show.  This is a trustworthy concealer that also brightens the circles in the process.

IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser #15 Brush.jpeg
This is the new Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser #15 Brush.  You won't get into the corners as you would a thin concealer brush, but  this is what you want for blending that concealer just so.

Ever since I started using concealer brushes, I noticed how much better my application than relying on your fingers.  To apply this concealer, I used my thinner concealer brush to smooth the product to the inner corners of my eye and higher under the eyes compared to my finger before using the fatter Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser #15 Brush ($29) for going over the area to buff everything to perfection.  You do need both size of concealer brushes because they help you do different things.

Trust me on this, if Bye Bye Under Eye can hide my allergic shiners as well as it does, then it can do the same for you.  Check it out and the new Heavenly Luxe Magic Eraser #15 Brush at IT Cosmetics, and Ulta!

*Disclaimer:  Free products were provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review + Swatches: Mineral Fusion's Glow & Go 3-in-1 Color Sticks (Terra Cotta, Rosette) for a Natural, Lit Up Glow That I Love!

Disclaimer: This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.
Mineral Fusion logo.jpeg

For a sheer wash of fresh color, you got to love a cream blush for the believable flush it can give your cheeks.  Anyone with a dry complexion like myself would appreciate that moist radiance even more.  It can provide a “non-makeup” look, but also for the wonderful way this blush form feels against the skin.

Mineral Fusion Terra Cotta  Glow & Go Color Stick.jpeg
This is the Terra Cotta Color Stick.  This is a peach-pink.

I had the chance to try Mineral Fusion’s Glow & Go 3-in-1 Color Sticks in Terra Cotta and Rosette.  This mineral formulated cream blush stick is one that you can feel really good using.  With healthier ingredients to benefit the skin to repair, protect and soothe like pomegranate and white tea, vitamins, licorice root extract, aloe leaf juice and mineral pigments, they beautify while caring for the complexion without risking it to more dangerous chemicals.   

Mineral Fusion Rosette Glow & Go Color Stick.jpeg
Here is Rosette Color Stick, which is a great pink without any orange tones.

I liked the lightweight formula of these blush sticks and how easily they melted into the skin, leaving a beautiful breath of airy, natural color to my complexion with a delicate shimmer and no sparkling flecks. They also wear quite well.

Mineral Fusion Glow & Glo Color Stick swatches.jpeg
Rosette is closest to my wrist with Terra Cotta on the right.  Look at that beaming color.

Rosette is a nice brighter pink that gives cheeks that ideal glow to enliven your complexion. Anyone can wear this beautiful color.

Terra Cotta is just as lovely, and with the same depth of color, only this choice will give you more of a peach-toned pink glow while also brightening your cheeks with soft gleam.  

There are also other colors choices in this line, Berry Glow and Magnetic, which are shimmer free. They retail for $19.99.  Mineral Fusion 3-in-1 Color Sticks are available on the company’s website or Whole Foods Markets, but do think of trying these two shimmer shades especially for that lit up glow!   

*Disclaimer: Free product was provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.* 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Are You Starving Your Hair From the Minerals It Needs to Promote Growth?

Blonde Smiling in the grass.jpeg
She can smile because slow growing hair is no longer a problem.  

You heard the saying that you are what you eat.  The condition of your hair is affected by your diet and the food choices that you make.  If your hair is deprived of certain minerals or you don’t get enough of them, then this might explain why it takes so long for your hair to grow. 

Zinc is an important mineral that you could be overlooking.  Ask yourself how much whole grains, pistachios, almonds, cashews, oysters, chick peas, white beans, meat and poultry, eggs, wheat germ, crab, lobster, spinach or pumpkin seeds are among the foods you eat.  The recommended daily requirement is 8 milligrams a day for women and 11 milligrams for men.  However, our bodies are different and could require more in supplement form.

Iodine is also essential since it affects hair growth from the health of the thyroid. Iodized table salt is a source, but it is hardly the best option to load up on.  Iodine rich foods include seafood, plain yogurt, milk, cranberries, kelp, sunflower seeds, cheese and eggs are just some to consider.

Sulfur is just as critical.  This mineral helps with blood circulation, inflammation while building collagen for the hair, skin and nails as well.  You might want to add more foods such as broccoli, cabbage, horseradish, onions, garlic, celery, fish, asparagus, eggs, kale, Brussel Sprouts, fish, poultry, meats, nuts, and beans to your grocery list. 

Silica is a mineral you may not have given much thought too.  Yet, this one also helps skin, hair, and nails, including your joint function since it has the ability to repair collagen and connective tissue and strengthen bones.  You might want to start incorporating raisins, whole grain breads, green beans, bran cereals, oats, seafood, spinach, dried fruits, nuts, bananas, onions, garlic, brown rice, flaxseed, almonds, beets, grapes and red lentils when devising your menu.  

Magnesium is a mineral that you could easily be lacking since 40% of the population is deficient in it.  It does a lot things to keep the body young and functioning properly from strengthening bones, blood pressure, regulating the heart, boosting the body’s immune system to helping with skin and hair.  This is the mineral you need to create strong hair follicles that keep strands from falling out and encouraging healthier hair to grow in. 

The best and safest way to get your minerals and vitamins is ideally from food.  However, this is not always possible for the amount required to satisfy what your body may need.  If do need to turn to supplements, especially if you are on medication, do seek the opinion of your doctor before self-prescribing with any vitamins and minerals because they can interfere or may not be advisable with your health problems.

What I take is a combination of calcium, magnesium, and zinc along with vitamin D in one tablet three times a day because I cannot eat as much food to get all the nutrients necessary to keep my bones, skin, and hair their healthiest.   Each tablet has 333 mg of calcium, 133 mg of magnesium, 5 mg of zinc and 200 IU of vitamin D.  I have supplemented this way for years.  As a result, I do have thick hair that grows like a weed. 

However, I urge great caution when shopping for your vitamins and minerals because they are not regulated as they should be.  Just because you see such products at your grocery or drugstore doesn’t mean they are all safe.  Look below at what happened to me just taking calcium capsules!

My Legs with rash from vitamins.jpeg
This is what my bare legs looked like as they were recovering.  My cousin thought I was wearing textured stockings. My face was too ugly to show.

I made the mistake of buying  calcium capsules just because I assumed if it was sold commonly where I shopped, it was fine.  However, I developed a strange rash all over from head to toe and looked like something that could have been in a horror movie.  I went from one confused doctor to two specialists, 13 blood tests, a biopsy, and two steroid prescriptions before I found out that not all the ingredients were included on the label.  Would you believe lanolin was in the capsule?  I don’t put lanolin on my skin, let alone eat it.  Yet, this ingredient was unlisted and could be deadly to someone that may be allergic to it.

Look for some sort of regulatory label like from the USP (United States Pharmacopedia, the non-profit organization that sets standards for medicines, supplements and food ingredients).

Now I am very careful of always looking for that seal.  So, please save yourself the pain and expense that I went through, and check before swallowing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

**WIN**Amazing Hair!--Keune Design Color Care and Styling Eight Hair Products Review + ($164) Giveaway! (USA & CA)–Ends August 15, 2015

Disclaimer: This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.
Keune log.jpeg

Those who are craving a fresh hair look can gain a beautiful advantage with salon quality products like the ones from Keune that I keep discovering.  Once I tell you about my latest new hair care finds from the brand, you will also be inspired to try them–that is, if you haven’t done so by now.  

Keune Design Color Care five products.jpeg
Keune Design Color Care Shampoo, Treatment, Conditioner, Brilliant Gloss Spray, Hair Beauty Split Ends Serum

Since I just had my hair colored, I wanted to try products to keep the shade vibrant, healthy, and lasting as long as possible.  Therefore, I thought the Design Color Care Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Treatment, Design Hair Beauty Split Ends Serum, Brilliant Glossing Spray along with the Jelly Wax, Care Line Mineral Mousse, and the Shaping Hair Spray would be perfect to experiment with this time to keep my tresses styled with the gorgeous hold I have come to appreciate from their products.

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Keune Jelly Wax, Mineral Mousse, Shaping Hair Spray

The Design Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner were luxurious formulas with sunflower seed extract and solamer UV protection for safeguarding the color along with a color stabilizer, LP300.  It also had sea silk proteins for softness and shine.

What I treated my hair to a few days later was with their Design Color Care Treatment. This is a lightweight moisturizing deep conditioner with an enticing fragrance that strengthens and protects with vegetable and wheat proteins while it works.  Keune suggests three minutes with this conditioner on is enough, but I always keep mine on longer, more like thirty minutes before rinsing to give the product extra time to do its thing.  

For my side swept bangs, I was intrigued by the description of their Jelly Wax.  The texture was in between a gel and wax, more like pomade so I thought this might keep some of the layers back with soft feathering. This gives a medium hold with lots of a shine geared for medium to short hair.  I used a little while my hair was still damp and it did a nice job without making my hair feel dirty or sticky.  The hair was touchable, but you could later restyle and it still kept the hold.

In fact, the next time that I tried the Jelly Wax, I tested it on dry hair.  I got to tell you that getting just a little and rubbing it in your hand first and applying to the areas on dry hair works even better.  I also tried in the sides of my hair when I pulled my hair back and it worked like a charm to keep my tresses in place.  Another plus about this product is that it doesn’t linger when you wash it out.

The Care Line Mineral Mousse was what I chose for the rest of my layers.  I liked how this stuff built up the curl without making my hair feel crunchy from the product.  Instead, this mousse left it soft with its provitamin B5 and polymers and yet it had a strong hold. 

To keep my style in place, I lightly misted my hair with the Design Shaping Hair Spray, Super formula.  This is the stuff you want if you want your style to stay put.  You will get an extra firm hold, but you can take a brush or comb to it and restyle without worrying about your hairdo falling apart.  

Though my hair had shine, I wanted to see if it had any more with their Design Brilliant Gloss Spray after I finished my hair.  This did pump up the wattage to a surprising new level.

A few weeks later, I knew my hair could use additional help after spending some time in sun that left it feeling brittle.   After I washed my hair, I waited until my hair was still damp before breaking one capsule from the box of Keune Design Hair Beauty Split Ends Serum to apply.  This product not only repairs, but is a concentrated shine booster that also protects from heat.  Once I finished blow-drying, I was so happy with how soft and shiny my hair felt again.

If you want eye-catching hair, I am confident that you can also have it.  Whatever you’re looking for your hair to do or solve, I do recommend Keune because from what I have experienced, I do know they can help!  Do check their products out.

*Disclaimer: Free product was provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.* 

Thanks to Keune Hair Care, one lucky Nuts 4 Stuff reader in the United States or Canada wins the above eight full-size Keune hair care products ($164 value)!

Giveaway details and how to enter–

Prize: One (1) winner will receive the set of eight Keune hair products–Design Color Care Shampoo, Design Color Care Conditioner, Design Color Care Treatment, Design Brilliant Gloss Spray, Design Hair Beauty Split Ends Serum, Jelly Wax, Color Care Mineral Mousse, and Shaping Hair Spray, Super ($164 value)!

Dates of entry: 07/25/15–08/14/2015 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

Eligibility: Open to USA and Canada.  The winner will need to respond to my email with name and shipping address within 48-hours or another winner will be picked.  

How to Enter:  Please use the Rafflecopter widget if it works.  You can also enter by clicking this link or try to enter using another browser. You can return daily and log in again with your email to tweet or to vote daily for Nuts 4 Stuff on Picket Fence Blogs.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review + Swatches: NYC New York Color Expert Last Matte Lip Color Line

Disclaimer: This post is based on a free product provided by a company as a press sample so that I may offer my own opinion, which may be the same or differ from yours.
NYC New York Color logo.jpeg

Regardless of what you may think, just because you pay a high price for a lipstick doesn’t guarantee that it will be the best thing that you ever put on your lips. There are some great drugstore lipsticks out there like some I recently sampled from NYC New York Color’s Expert Last Lipsticks that now includes a Matte shades line.

NYC New York Color Expert Last Matte Lip Color LIne.jpeg
Starting on the left is #452 Red Suede, #448 Smooth Beige, #450 Pure Coral, #449 Creamy Mauve and ending with #451 Velvety Fuchsia on the right.

This collection consists of #449 Creamy Mauve (cool pink), #448 Smooth Beige (nude without pink tones), #450 Pure Coral (orange-red coral), #451 Velvety Fuchsia (riveting bright pink-violet ), and #452 Red Suede (true red).

Though advertised as a mix of matte and satin, these well-pigmented lippies have more of a creamy texture than you might expect.  They felt comfortable and lightweight on my lips as well.  I got about four hours of wear before needing to reapply.  The darker shades, however, left more of a stain effect over the pale shades.

NYC New York Color Expert Last Matte lip color swatches.jpeg
Starting on the left to right is #448 Smooth Beige, #450 Pure Coral, #449 Creamy Mauve, #451 Velvety Fucshia, and ending with #452 Red Suede closest to my wrist.

The two palest shades, #449 Creamy Mauve and #448 Smooth Beige lighten and hardly look comparable to the color in the tube once you sample them.  The Creamy Mauve became a paler, chalkier pink than the color of the bullet whereas the Smooth Beige became an anemic, ghostly beige on me.  Both of these did not flatter my fair complexion like the deeper shades.

I adored #451 Velvety Fuchsia with how it complimented my skin tone.  The Pure Coral came off a bit bright of an orange-red coral than I’m used, but was still wearable.  The Red Suede was a dramatic red without any orange tones.

If you looking for new lipsticks, I do recommend giving NYC New York Color’s Expert Last Lipsticks ($1.99) a try whether the regular line or the new Mattes!  

 *Disclaimer: Free product was provided to facilitate this review--not my opinion.*     

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Some Calming Relief for Sunburn You May Want to Keep Handy With These DIY Remedies!

Woman with sunglasses in sun.jpeg
Enjoying the sun is great, but you can't say the same thing of sunburn.  

Summer is when you should be having fun–-not suffering with sunburn.  Hopefully, you won’t find yourself in this predicament.  If you do, then  I wanted to share some additional home remedies that can help take your pain away.

Some time in the water does wonders to ease pain.  Therefore, you might want to try soaking in cool bath water with two cups of apple cider vinegar.  The vinegar can restore the skin’s pH level and help it heal.

Oatmeal can also come to your skin’s rescue for sunburn or relieving the itch of poison ivy.  In fact, you can use it in two ways.  Try adding one-half cup of oatmeal (not instant) to a tub of cool bath water and soaking. Skip drying off with a towel.  Instead, air drying is better for your body when you are in this condition. 

To save yourself from a messy tub, you could also take a thin material like gauze or muslin and cut a square large enough to accommodate  that one-half cup of oatmeal, securing it with a tie.  Let it float in the cool bath water about ten minutes first before you emerge and soak.  You can also use that oatmeal pouch to place very gently over the areas for further help in calming the skin.

Lavender essential oil is something else that you may have on hand or want to look into due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  This is one of the only essential oils that you can safely apply to your skin without the need of a carrier oil to dilute it.  Take a cool bath first and then try about three or four drops of the lavender essential oil on a wet cotton wash cloth.  Hold it tenderly over the afflicted areas helps cool as well as spur the healing process into action. 

Another sunburn remedy is derived from a comfrey root.  Of course, you are not going to feel like digging up something from your herb garden or do you want to. You only want to use this ingredient in a cream and not if your sunburn has blistered and is open. However, this ingredient may be in one of your current skin care creams so do check. Comfrey roots have allotonin that can aid the inflammation while also stimulating the wounded cells to regenerate.

Read my two earlier posts for more DIY sunburn remedies that also truly lessen the pain!  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Cheesy Chicken Casserole Is Tasty and a Great Way to Use Leftovers!

My Cheesy Chicken Casserole.jpeg
You can easily reinvent this casserole by changing the meat or poultry.

The recipe that I have to share with you today is not only delicious, but it is a great way to use leftover chicken, turkey, or ham.  By the time you are done, your family or guests will think you created something special.    Only you will know the real truth!

With just some curry and garlic powder along with some onion, black olives and fresh mushrooms in a delectable cheesy cream sauce,  this dish has a unique flavor that is wonderfully different.  I do hope that the next time you have any leftover poultry or ham that you will try it.  

Keep in mind that garlic powder is not the same thing as garlic salt.  Garlic powder is pure dry, pulverized garlic without salt whereas garlic salt contains salt as the first ingredient.

My Cheesy Chicken Casserole

1 -1/2 cups of cooked chicken, turkey or ham
1 cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 medium onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1–8 oz. package of fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (10-3/4 oz.)
1 cup of milk
½ teaspoon of curry powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder not garlic salt
1/4 cup of pitted black olives
1/4 cup of olive oil
1-lb. of cooked shells, macaroni or your favorite of pasta

In your skillet or heavy pot, brown your chopped onion in the olive oil until golden brown.

Then add the sliced mushrooms and continue until cooked before adding the soup, cheese, milk, chicken, curry powder, salt, garlic powder, and pitted olives to heat through until the cheese melts and it thickens.

Cook the pasta, drain, and then add to the sauce and blend through.